New collection online from NARA

One each from Maryland and Oklahoma.

Two each from Kentucky and Texas.

Four from Alabama.

Six each from Arkansas and Missouri.

Ten from South Carolina.

Seventeen from Mississippi, and another 17 from Tennessee.

Twenty from Georgia.

Twenty-two from Virginia.

And 11 that are identified simply as United States — because they cross state lines.

More than 100 in total… and they are pure genealogical gold.

Civil War mapsBecause there’s almost nothing better for genealogical research than historical maps.

Free. Digitized. Online to peruse at 3 a.m.

And this collection — of Confederate War Maps digitized and put online by the National Archives — is about as good as it gets.

The maps are part of Record Group 109, War Department Collection of Confederate Records, 1825 – 1927, and as explained by Brandi Oswald, archivist in NARA’s Cartographic Branch:

Maps played a very important role during the Civil War. They were instrumental to leaders and generals for planning battles, campaigns, and marches. As a result, thousands of maps relating to the Civil War were created, many of which are held by the Cartographic Branch at the National Archives in a variety of record groups. These maps can include rough sketches created quickly before or during a battle, but can also include maps that were drawn to accompany official reports or even post-war publications. Many are highly detailed and colorized. Civil War maps frequently show topography, ground cover, roads, railroads, homes, the names of residents, towns, and waterways. They can be very helpful to better understand what the land looked like and how it was used during the Civil War era. Maps showing the names of residents can also be helpful to genealogists.1

The digitized maps were captured by or surrendered to the United States at the conclusion of the Civil War, or were later donated by former Confederate leaders, and show well known — and lesser-known — battlefields, fortifications, fort plans and more.

Check out the link Confederate Maps, or — for the state-by-state maps — check out this list of RG 109 maps by state.

For more background on Civil War maps and cartographic resources as part of family history, check out Trevor Plante’s Prologue article, “Enhancing Your Family Tree with Civil War Maps.”2

And, of course, remember that NARA isn’t the only source for Civil War maps — not by a long shot. One of the most comprehensive collections of Civil War maps is at the Library of Congress, where more than 2,300 items have been digitized and put online in its Civil War Maps collection.

Other options for Civil War maps include:

• Images from US Civil War and Civil War Maps, the David Rumsey Map Collection.

• The American Civil War collection, United States Military Academy at West Point, and its Civil War Maps in Special Collections.

Gilmer Civil War Maps Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

.

Check ’em out…


SOURCES

  1. Brandi Oswald, “RG 109 Confederate Maps Series Now Digitized and Available Online!,” The National Archives Unwritten Record Blog, posted 17 Oct 2017 (https://unwritten-record.blogs.archives.gov/ : accessed 30 Nov 2017).
  2. Trevor K. Plante, “Enhancing Your Family Tree with Civil War Maps,” Prologue (Summer 2003), html version, National Archives (https://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/ : accessed 30 Nov 2017).
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