About this Collection

The Hotchkiss Map Collection contains cartographic items made by Major Jedediah Hotchkiss (1828-1899), a topographic engineer in the Confederate Army. Hotchkiss made detailed battle maps primarily of the Shenandoah Valley, some of which were used by the Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson for their combat planning and strategy. Several of the maps have annotations of various military officers, demonstrating their importance in the military campaigns. The collection also includes maps made or used by Hotchkiss during his post-war years, including maps with information about railroads, minerals and mining, geology and history, most of which focus on Virginia and West Virginia, but also cover other states and even the world.

The collection consists of 341 sketchbooks, manuscripts, and annotated printed maps, the originals of which reside in the Library of Congress' Geography and Map Division. A Keyhole Markup Language (KML) file was created to view the Hotchkiss maps in KML2.2; the zipped file (KMZ) is 41MB.

In 1948, an outstanding collection of American Civil War maps was purchased by the Library of Congress from Mrs. R. E. Christian, granddaughter of Major Jedediah Hotchkiss (1828-1899), a topographic engineer in the Confederate Army. Hotchkiss worked principally in the West Virginia and Virginia areas that he had toured during his earlier geological studies and made detailed battle maps. As annotations demonstrate, these maps were used by Generals Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson in planning their campaigns. Many of these maps were used to compile the War Department's definitive Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (2 vols.; Washington: Government Printing Office, 1891-95). One such map, Hotchkiss' masterpiece, [Map of the Shenandoah Valley], prepared at the request of Stonewall Jackson and presented to the Library by Mrs. Christian in 1964, shows the offensive and defensive points of the Shenandoah Valley from the Potomac River to Lexington, Virginia. Hotchkiss also filled several notebooks with topographic and strategic drawings. The collection includes maps drawn or used by Hotchkiss during his postwar career as a consulting engineer in Staunton, Virginia. The 341 sketchbooks, manuscripts, and annotated printed maps are described in the Hotchkiss catalog compiled by Clara Egli LeGear, which appears in the second edition of Civil War Maps: An Annotated List of Maps and Atlases in the Library of Congress prepared by Richard W. Stephenson.

This online presentation includes all the materials in the Hotchkiss Map Collection, some of which also appear in the American Memory collection: Civil War Maps, 1861-1865.