Note: This review originally appeared at The Siege of Petersburg Online: Beyond the Crater last week and is reproduced here.
Where can you get easy to read, informative, tear resistant and waterproof battlefield maps? Trailhead Graphics is your answer. This review focuses on Battlefield America Map #112: The Petersburg Campaign, though the company offers many more maps of famous Civil War battles, including Gettysburg, Shiloh, Antietam, and Chickamauga. Tim Kissel’s map on the Siege of Petersburg focuses on the Petersburg front only (no Bermuda Hundred or Richmond) and was created with the help of well-known Petersburg Campaign experts A. Wilson Greene and Chris Calkins. Modern day roads, monuments, markers, and other areas of interest combined with Civil War era buildings, houses, fortifications, and other areas on one overview map and 8 detailed maps make up a this particular offering. Tear-resistant and waterproof, this map can go with you whether you are taking a car tour of the Petersburg area or you have been invited into a private area for a more intimate tour.
What I will call Map #1 is the overview map and takes up one entire side of this cartographical package. This map was created at a scale of 1:27,300. Numbered coordinates fill the y-axis while letters occupy the x-axis. This allows certain features to be quickly and easily located using a number-letter combination. A map inset mentions that the fortifications are shown as they existed in 1864-5, and that many no longer exist. Place names in green indicate the presence of a more detailed map on the opposite side of the sheet. Virginia Civil War Trails sites and Virginia Historical Markers are both shown on the map where present. Keys indicate which sites and markers are in what locations. All makor Union and Confederate forts, redans, redoubts, and other fortifications have their names prominently displayed in blue (Union) or red (Confederate). Modern roads are shown to help travelers navigate to the many spread out sites in the greater Petersburg area.
The reverse side of the package contains eight detailed maps of the following area:
- Historic Petersburg (Home Front)
- Pamplin Historic Park and the National Museum of the Civil War Soldier
- Five Forks
- Eastern Front
- White Oak Road
- Grant’s Headquarters at City Point
- Reams Station
- Western Front
These maps are zoomed in for greater detail in the areas represented. As mentioned earlier, these eight names are prominently displayed in green on the overview map. The maps show contour lines for every 10 feet of elevation. They list monuments, markers, interpretive trails, picnic areas, points of interest, buildings, historic sites, and more.
All of these maps are very well done and should help readers not only to reach some widely scattered points of interest but also to pinpoint specific items of interest when they get there. Numerous insets, map keys, and other visual aids help the user to quickly and easily find the location they need in a waterproof, tear-resistant package. Battlefield trampers, tour guides, and those interested in Civil War cartography will want to own this map and many of the other maps in the Battlefield America map series. Students of the Siege of Petersburg will find this to be a great map to refer to again and again while reading some of the many “map-less” books on the Petersburg Campaign out there, especially regimental histories from the 19th century. Trailhead Graphics routinely offers great maps for those who want to get out and see the battlefield, a prerequisite to truly understanding what happened 150 years ago. This map is highly, highly recommended.
I would like to thank Tim Kissel of Trailhead Graphics for responding quickly to my inquiry about this map.
This map was provided gratis for the purposes of this review. Maps of Gettysburg and Shiloh were also included for comparison purposes.
***Check out the Siege of Petersburg Online for daily posts on battle accounts in newspaper articles, diary entries, letters and more!
What are your Top 10 Gettysburg Books? See what a panel of bloggers said recently.
Want to read some interesting Civil War content from amateurs and pros alike? Check out the Top 10 Civil War Blogs and Top 10 Civil War Blogs: 11-20.