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May 31, 1861

Colton. Tribune war maps, 1861 (Front page, p. 4)

Colton. Tribune war maps, 1861 (Front page, p. 4)

Colton. Tribune war maps, 1861 (p. 2, p.3)

Colton. Tribune war maps, 1861 (p. 2, p.3)

Maps related to the Civil War actions that appeared in newspapers or illustrated magazines were extremely popular. The public was enthralled by pictorial representations of the war, and pictures did much to shape their image and opinion of events and people in the news. Although sometimes lacking the timeliness and artistic merit found in many of the "on the spot" depictions from the battle fronts and military camps, maps nevertheless provided valuable information on the location of places in the news.

The New-York Daily Tribune published the "Tribune War Maps" as a supplement to its daily paper issued on July 30, 1861. This section of 17 maps was compiled and engraved on wood by the well-known New York map publisher, George Woolworth Colton. One of the maps in this section that contained noteworthy and timely strategic information is entitled "Acquia Creek and its Environs.” The accompanying explanation notes that "The above map presents an accurate view of Acquia Creek and vicinity, showing the position of the battery on the 31st of May, engaged by the steamers Freeborn and Anacosta. The map is from drawings made by the Coast Survey. Acquia Creek is the terminus of the Fredericksburg and Potomac Railroad, communicating directly with Richmond, from which city it is distant 75 miles."

The map highlights the location of a Confederate battery which protected the railroad line linking the city of Richmond to the Potamac River in Stafford County, Virginia.

Map Citations

Colton, G. Woolworth. The Tribune war maps. New York, New-York Daily Tribune, 1861. 17 maps on 4 p., each p. 59 x 42 cm. (Front page - p. 4)
Catalog record: http://lccn.loc.gov/99447010

References

Stephenson, Richard. Civil War maps : an annotated list of maps and atlases in the Library of Congress / compiled by Richard W. Stephenson. Washington: Library of Congress, 1989.
Catalog record: http://lccn.loc.gov/88600031