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October 26, 2007

Military Map for the District of New Mexico 1875

134. [MAP]. UNITED STATES. ARMY. CORPS OF ENGINEERS. MORRISON, C[harles] C[lifford]. 1875 District of New Mexico. Lt. C. C. Morrison 6th Cav. U.S.A. Acting Engr. Officer. [above lower neat line at right] Drawn by Anton Karl [below lower neat line at right] Copied by G. A. Lichtenberg Sergt Engrs. Headquarters Dept. of the Mo Office of the Chief Engineer Fort Leavenworth Kas Aug. 1875. Official Copy William J. Volkmar 1st. Lieut. 5th Cav. in Charge of Office in Absence of the Chief Engr. N.p., n.d. [Washington, D.C.? 1875?]. Lithograph map on very thin tracing paper mounted on old cartographical linen, neat line to neat line: 56.2 x 51.7 cm; image area: 61.5 x 52.5 cm; overall sheet size: 68.2 x 57 cm (sheet irregularly trimmed). Two long creases where formerly folded, uniform light brown stain (from old adhesive), small quarter-size piece missing from upper right blank margin, remains of old mounting strip on verso. Overall very good.

            First edition of an early separately issued map of New Mexico. Not in Phillips or standard sources. This highly detailed map is apparently based on an original manuscript map found in the National Archives (No. 580; filed as RG 77: W 197-1), except that here the map is slightly reduced and based on a scale of one inch = 20 miles. The map delineates what is now the state of New Mexico and portions of adjoining states. The far western area of Texas is shown, including Fort Bliss, Fort Quitman, “The Staked Plains,” and as far east as approximately the 103 meridian (present-day Kermit/Odessa). Relief is shown by hachure, and located are settlements, military posts, roads, geographical features (such as mountains and water ways), boundaries, water sources (such as wells and ponds), etc. Cartographical sources cited by the cartographer include land office plats, boundary line surveys north, east and south, Maxwell Land Grant Survey, Macomb route in 1857, Simpson route in 1849, “Scouts in New Mexico since June 1872,” Lt. Ruffner’s map of New Mexico, and “Reconaisscences by Lt. C. C. Morrison.”

               Although the purpose of this map is not entirely clear, its emphasis on matters of interest to the Army and its provenance would seem to indicate that it was meant for military use in the field. In addition to showing all military posts and civilian settlements, the map records in great detail routes, both large and small, throughout the entire District of New Mexico, information that would have been vital to the Army. At this time the Army also issued several detailed itineraries, such as those for Dakota & Black Hills, Missouri, Indian Territory, and New Mexico. The last was compiled by the maker of the present map, Lt. C. C. Morrison, and entitled: Table of Distances, Published for the Information of the Troops, serving in the District of New Mexico, with Remarks and Information Necessary for Camping Parties. Acting Assistant Adjutant General’s Office, Headquarters District of New Mexico, Santa Fe, N.M., January 1st. 1878 (Graff 4348, Howes N95, Streeter Sale 471). As with those publications, this map was probably an effort by the military to graphically understand the area in which it was serving and which it was to control.

               As noted in the list of authorities, this map comprises the New Mexico portion of the Maxwell Land Grant, although its outline is not specifically noted. Shown, for example, is Cimarron, which was Lucien Maxwell’s headquarters while he was resident on this property. In the east-central portion of the map is shown is Fort Sumner, established in 1862 to supervise the Bosque Redondo reservation. The map notes that the Fort is abandoned, as it had been since 1868. After Maxwell sold his grant, he bought the abandoned fort and moved there. It was at Fort Sumner that Pat Garrett killed Billy the Kid, who is buried there.

            Surveyor Charles Clifford Morrison is briefly noted by Tooley: “Lieut. C. C. Morrison, New Mexico, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas 1875; Wheeler Survey 1878.” Morrison contributed several large-scale maps of New Mexico and Colorado accompanying the atlas portion of the Wheeler reports (Topographical Atlas Projected to Illustrate United States Geographical Surveys West of The 100th Meridian Of Longitude.... Embracing Results of the Different Expeditions under the Command of 1st Lieut. Geo. M. Wheeler, Corps of Engineers. Julius Bien, lith. [with] Geological Atlas Projected to Illustrate Geographical Explorations and Surveys West of the 100th Meridian of Longitude ... Julius Bien, lith. Washington, 1876-1881; Phillips, Atlases 1281). Morrison worked on other surveying projects in the West, such as Ruffner’s 1874 survey for a road between Santa Fe and Taos, which is shown on this map. He also participated in the Civil War with the 93rd New York Heavy Artillery from Hamilton County, and between 1879 and 1889 served as an Ordnance Inspector for the U.S. Army (some Colt Cavalry Revolvers bear his inspector initials). He wrote Course of Instruction for Artillery Gunners: Modern Guns and Mortars Adopted in the United States Land Service, their Carriages, Projectiles, Fuzes, and Sights (Washington: Adjutant-General’s Office, 1895).

            Assisting Morrison as Assistant Topographer on the Wheeler expedition was another contributor to the present map, Anton Karl, who is associated with six of the maps in the Wheeler survey atlas. Karl prepared topographical maps for the Hayden Expedition in 1883. He also mapped the contested Maxwell Land Grant in Southern Colorado and Northern New Mexico, and it was his map that was presented to the court during litigation. Rounding out the surveying-mapping team on the present map was professional draughtsman, Sergeant G. A. Lichtenberg, who assisted in the preparation and tracing of maps of various sorts in that region at the time. The map is signed in print by William J. Volkmar, who was serving the Fort Leavenworth office during the absence of the Chief Engineer. Volkmar was a pioneer in military intelligence. He was instrumental in setting up the first real office of Army intelligence. Later Volkmar helped establish the Army Signal Corps by experimenting with heliography, proving the utility of using mirrors to communicate-the first system that allowed the Army to communicate rapidly over the vast emptiness of the West. ($3,000-5,000).

Sold. Hammer: $3,000.00; Price Realized: $3,525.00

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