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AUCTION 22

 

Civil War Atlas with Detailed Maps of the Virginia Campaigns


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13.     [ATLAS]. BECHLER, Gustavus R. Atlas Showing Battles, Engagements, and Important Localities Connected with the Campaigns in Virginia, Completing the Campaign Map Designed, Engraved and Published by Gustavus R. Bechler. Philadelphia: 600 Chestnut Street, Third Floor, [ca. 1864]. [2, printed title and preface], [1, lithographed “Contents” leaf, laid down on larger sheet] leaves, 16 leaves of lithograph maps on thin paper, most with positions colored by hand in red and/or blue, laid down on larger sheets. 4to (20.2 x 22.5 cm), modern three-quarter dark brown calf over brown and blue marbled boards, title gilt-lettered on spine. Contemporary ink signature “Schapp” on title page. Wants prefatory lithograph leaf of “Remarks.” “Contents” leaf has been trimmed and laid down with loss of copyright statement at bottom, light uniform age toning. Maps in strong, firm impressions. Map XVI trimmed close at top margin (plate number slightly shaved). Otherwise, an excellent copy of a Civil War atlas scarce in commerce.

Maps (all page sizes are 19.5 x 21.9 cm; sizes below are map sheet sizes):

Plate I           [Washington, D.C. and its Forts]. 16.2 x 17.6 cm. Phillips, America, p. 1024.

Plate II          Harpers Ferry and the Main Features of Bolivar. Loudon & Maryland=Heights. 13.7 x 16 cm. Phillips, America, p. 316.

Plate III          Battlefield of Manassas Plains or Bull Run July 21 1861. 17.3 x 14.3 cm. Phillips, America, p. 178.

Plate IV          Ft. Monroe Norfolk and Vicinity. 17.2 x 14.8 cm. Phillips, America, p. 447 & p. 557.

Plate V          Defensive Positions of the Confederates near Yorktown Peninsula Campaign. 17.7 x 15 cm. Phillips, America, p. 1135.

Plate VI          Main Features of the Country between Williamsburg, West Point, Charles City & White House relative to the Peninsula Campaign. 17.2 x 14.7 cm. Phillips, America, p. 1066.

Plate VII          Richmond and Eastern Environs relative to the Peninsula Campaign. 16.1 x 17.4 cm. Phillips, America, p. 748.

Plate VIII     Entrenchments of the Union Army after the Battle of Malvern Hill’s Peninsula Campaign. 12.9 x 15.1 cm. Phillips, America, p. 387.

Plate IX.          Plan of Cedar Mountain and North East Vicinity with References to Genl. Popes Campaign. 16.4 x 12.7 cm. Phillips, America, p. 256.

Plate X.          Map of Rappahannock and Brandy Station in Connection with Beverly’s, Freeman’s, Lee’s & Fox’s Ford in Reference to Genl. Popes Campaign in Va. 14.5 x 16.5 cm. Phillips, America, p. 739.

Plate XI          Vicinity of Sulphur Springs and Waterloo Bridge with Reference to Genl. Pope’s Campaign. 15.5 x 13.7 cm. Phillips, America, p. 997 & p. 1050.

Plate XII          Plan of the Battle of Groveton near Bull Run Fought on the 30th of August 1862. Genl. Pope’s Campaign. 17.2 x 14 cm. Phillips, America, p. 179.

Plate XIII     Plan of the Battlefield of Antietam. Fought on the 16th & 17th September 1862. 16.2 x 13.4 cm. Phillips, America, p. 115.

Plate XIV          Principal Features of the Battle of Fredericksburg December 13 1862. Burnsides Campaign. 17.3 x 14.6 cm. Phillips, America, p. 219 & p. 289.

Plate XV          Topographical Features near Ely’s, Bank’s & U.S. Ford on the Rappahannock River, including the Main Positions of the U.S. Army at the Battle of Chancellorsville Va. Genl. Hooker’s Campaign. 13.6 x 17.7 cm. Phillips, America, p. 219.

Plate XVI          The Battle of Gettysburg before the Final Assault. 16.3 x 14.2 cm. Phillips, America, p. 299.

     First edition. Phillips, America, p. 912 & p. 990 (plus individual maps on various pages; see above). Phillips, Atlases 1348. Sabin 4222. Stephenson, Civil War Maps: An Annotated List of Maps and Atlases in the Library of Congress (2nd ed.) 486. In his preface, Bechler states that he probably could have produced many more maps of this theater, but that he wished to produce only accurate views and did not have access to helpful materials being held by the military. These maps are supplements to his larger Military Map refering [sic] to the Campaigns of the Army of the Potomac in Virginia, including the Adjoining Parts of Maryland & Pennsylvania Expressly Compiled from the Latest & Most Reliable Sources on Record for Military & Private Use (Philadelphia, ca. 1864).

     Although the present maps are relatively small, they offer extraordinary details of topography, settlements, rivers, roads, railroads, and other physical features, much more so than was possible on the larger map. All military lines, forts, etc., are indicated in hand coloring, blue for Federal forces and red for Southern ones. If known, the names of the units involved are also given, although Bechler is obviously more familiar with Federal forces than those of the opposing side. Many of the maps have explanatory notes included, as well.

     Tooley’s Dictionary of Mapmakers, revised edition, (Vol. I, p. 105) documents Bechler’s maps between 1856 and 1864, listing first an 1856 map of Allegany County, New York (Phillips, America, p. 98), and last the present atlas. Phillips (America, p. 955) finds work as late as 1891 (U.S. Navy, Hydrographic Office, Bureau of Navigation Chart No. 691 of Southern Vancouver Island and adjacent coast). After his Civil War atlas, Bechler went West, serving as topographer on Ferdinand V. Hayden’s second expedition, and elsewhere. Several geographical features in the West are named for him. He created the most important early maps of the Jackson Hole region and the upper Snake River as an expedition member. He named Yellowstone Park’s Minute Man Geyser, and the remote beautiful area of the park called Bechler’s District is named for him.

($1,000-2,000)

Sold. Hammer: $1,700.00; Price Realized: $2,040.00

Auction 22 Abstracts

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