National Geographic’s free USGS topos on multi-page PDFs 1 comment

You can’t really know a Civil War battle if you don’t know the geography of the battlefield. “National Geographic has built an easy to use web interface that allows anyone to quickly find any 7.5 minute topo in the continental U.S.A. for downloading and printing. Each topo has been pre-processed to print on a standard home, letter size printer. These are the same topos that were printed by USGS for […]

Errors in Grant’s official map for the Battle of Belmont 2 comments

A close reading of the official reports for the Battle of Belmont indicates that Ulysses S. Grant’s official map, echoed by authors afterward, incorrectly portrayed Jacob Lauman’s move to the right side of the battle line during the engagement. Although this detailed map of the action, which accompanied Grant’s report of the battle, showed Henry Dougherty’s Second Brigade (22nd Illinois and 7th Iowa) moving to the right soon after forming […]

A strategic database for the American Civil War 1 comment

For a long time I have pondered a potentially worthwhile project: a database that contained the locations (and probable strengths, current commanders, etc.) of the Union and Confederate forces down to the regimental level. The data could then be displayed on an interactive basis. I would think that this would be hugely helpful in any strategic, campaign-level analysis. With appropriate software, one could easily visualize the various units on each […]