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Friday, April 3, 2015

ADDING VALUE TO YOUR CIVIL WAR BATTLE/CAMPAIGN HISTORY, Part III: Draw Those Maps!


ADDING VALUE TO YOUR CIVIL WAR BATTLE/CAMPAIGN HISTORY

Part III: Draw Those Maps!

                Yet another way to add value to The Siege of Petersburg: The Battles for the Weldon Railroad, August 1864, was to add more maps, particularly of the first day of Second Deep Bottom, the most critical day of the whole Fourth Offensive.  I had a much clearer idea of troop movements on that day than when I wrote the first edition of my book (The Destruction of the Weldon Railroad: Deep Bottom, Globe Tavern and Reams Station, August 14-25, 1864) more than twenty years ago.  Chris Calkins’ maps for that book were fine—I just did not ask him to draw enough of them.  Hampton Newsome drew six new maps of the first day alone.  We used a combination of the U. S. Geological Service Map and the map drawn by U. S. Army engineers after the War.  The new maps help put Second Deep Bottom into a rightfully more prominent place in the narrative.  As a general principle, the more maps the better.  A lack of maps has always been the main criticism of my Petersburg Campaign.  One day I hope to revise that book, adding a map for every major fight around the Cockade City.  That will involve around thirty maps.