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June 25, 1862

Position of Richmond, Va.

Position of Richmond, Va.

Sketch exhibiting the approachs to Richmond from Pamunkey River

Sketch exhibiting the approachs to Richmond from Pamunkey River

[Map exhibiting the approaches to the city of Richmond...]

[Map exhibiting the approaches to the city of Richmond...]

General George B. McClellan’s Peninsula Campaign began --- with the intent of marching northwest up the peninsula formed by the James and York Rivers and capturing Richmond, Virginia. Confederate forces had retreated to the outskirts of the Confederate capitol. General Robert E. Lee took command of the Army of Northern Virginia and, over the course of Seven Days (June 25th to July 1st , 1862) drove the Union army back to the James River. The two manuscript maps shown here reflect the state of intelligence during the summer of 1862.

For example, Henry Abbott’s Position of Richmond shows the gradual Confederate advance and Union retreat from June 27, 1862 until July 7, 1862. Two annotations on this Confederate produced map indicate that it was “compiled from Map of Henrico Co.’ and ‘Sketch exhibiting the approaches with additional information...’ as well as the fact that it was ‘Copied from a map captured from the enemy June 27th 1862”.

A third slightly different map by Union topographical engineer John C. Babcock entitled Map exhibiting the approaches to the city of Richmond prepared for Maj. Gen. Geo. B. McClellan, U.S.A., covers the same vicinity and time period and bears a printed note indicating that it was “compiled from ‘Map of Henrico Co.’ and map of the ‘Position of Richmond’.” In other words, these three maps represent the fast paced and fluid consolidation of cartographic information from both Union and Confederate sources on the field of battle.

Map Citations

Abbot, Henry L. Position of Richmond, Va. [CSA] Manuscript map. Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division.
Catalog record: //www.loc.gov/item/2005625010/

Abbot, Henry L. Sketch exhibiting the approaches to Richmond from Pamunkey River : from reconnoissances [sic] made between May 18th and June 14th,1862 / [S.l.] : Top. Engr's., Army of the Potomac, [1862]. 1 map; sunprint; 56 x 68 cm.
Catalog record: http://lccn.loc.gov/2006629754

Babcock, John C., 1836- Map exhibiting the approaches to the city of Richmond prepared for Maj. Gen. Geo. B. McClellan, U.S.A., 1 map, 46 x 70 cm.
Catalog record: http://lccn.loc.gov/99448488