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Maps of the Confederacy
Civil War maps are a popular resource at the National Archives, and the Cartographic Branch is pleased to announce the digitization of over 100 Confederate maps from Record Group (RG) 109. All are now available to view or download through the National Archives Catalog.
Fortifications at Charleston. SC-8, National Archives Identifier 70653061
Maps played a very important role during the Civil War. They were instrumental to leaders and generals for planning battles, campaigns, and marches. As a result, thousands of maps relating to the Civil War were created, many of which are held by the Cartographic Branch at the National Archives in a variety of record groups. These maps can include rough sketches created quickly before or during a battle, but can also include maps that were drawn to accompany official reports or even post-war publications. Many are highly detailed and colorized. Civil War maps frequently show topography, ground cover, roads, railroads, homes, the names of residents, towns, and waterways. They can be very helpful to better understand what the land looked like and how it was used during the Civil War era. Maps showing the names of residents can also be helpful to genealogists.
Sketch of the Vicinity of Corinth, Mississippi, MS-5, National Archives Identifier 70652997

During the digitization process, close attention was paid to information written or stamped on the backs of the maps. All maps within the series that contained unique information on their reverse were digitized both front and back. Both sides are available to view in the Catalog.

Map of the mouth of the Broad River showing fortifications and naval fleet near Beaufort, SC., SC-1, National Archives Identifier 70653042

Many Confederate generals later donated maps to the National Archives to become part of a Confederate archives. Often, the names of the donors or original owners are written or stamped on the reverse of the maps. Names such as General Samuel Gibbs French, General Trimble, General Thomas L. Snead, General Polk, General Thomas Hindman can be found on the backs of many maps.

View all of these digitized Confederate maps in the National Archives Catalog. Take some time to browse through these maps, enjoying both the fronts and the backs! You can also view maps from a specific state. In the Catalog, view Record Group 109 Confederate maps by state and click on the state you wish to view. Next, click on the blue link that says “item(s) described in the catalog” that is located near the middle of the Catalog entry.

This post was excerpted from a blog post on The Unwritten Record by Brandi Oswald, archivist in the Cartographic Branch. Read Brandi’s full post to see more examples and learn more about these records.

Want to learn how to download these and other images from the Catalog? Check out our instructional video!

How to Download Records from the National Archives Catalog
See all of our Citizen Archivist resources on our website.
New in the Catalog

Photographs Related to Nuclear Weapons Testing at the Nevada Test Site, 1/1972 - 12/2012
The 21,655 photographs
in this series depict all aspects of Sandia National Laboratories' unclassified work on nuclear weapons testing between 1972 through 1992 at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). Photographs reflect Sandia National Laboratories' mission to ensure that the United States nuclear arsenal is safe, secure, reliable, and able to support the United States' deterrence policy. The majority of photographs depict various equipment, personnel, and operations related to underground nuclear tests. In addition, other photographs in this series depict High Explosive tests at Nevada Test Site; Coal Gasification Experiment at Hanna, Wyoming; the Solar Power Project; Waste Disposal at Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Oil Shale Project at Rock Springs, Wyoming; as well as other non-nuclear tests and experiments.

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