Jedediah Hotchkiss Maps of the Shenandoah Valley

Jedidiah Hotchkiss
Jedediah Hotchkiss (1828-1899) was one of the Civil War’s most famous topographic engineers. His accurate maps (several of which are reproduced in these exhibits) played a central role in the success of numerous Confederate victories, both in the Shenandoah Valley and elsewhere.

Born in Windsor, New York, Hotchkiss moved to Page County, in the Shenandoah Valley, in 1847. There he established a school and married Sarah Ann Comfort, from Pennsylvania, in 1853. The couple eventually had two daughters. Shortly after the Civil War began, Hotchkiss enlisted in the Confederate army, siding with his adopted state.

Although he had no formal cartography training, Hotchkiss had a reputation for mapmaking and topography, something he had taught himself as a hobby. These skills quickly became known and Hotchkiss was soon put to good use by the Confederacy. Hotchkiss’s knowledge of the terrain and his attention to detail gave Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and other Confederate commanders a huge advantage over their Union adversaries, who had little knowledge of the area and very poor maps.

Hotchkiss participated in numerous campaigns and battles, including the 1862 Shenandoah Valley Campaign, Second Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Overland Campaign, the 1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign (including Cedar Creek) and many others. Throughout his service Hotchkiss created hundreds of maps and charts, most of which are now preserved in the Library of Congress.

Following the war, Hotchkiss remained in Virginia, working as an engineer and promoting the development of Virginia’s mineral resources.
 
Hotchkiss Map of the Valley 1862

“Make Me a Map of the Valley….”

Jedediah Hotchkiss’ Shenandoah Valley Map


Jedediah Hotchkiss had met Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson before the war, when Jackson was a professor at the Virginia Military Institute. By the spring of 1862 Jackson commanded all of the Confederate forces in the Shenandoah Valley and on March 26th directed Hotchkiss to “to make me a map of the Valley, from Harpers Ferry to Lexington, showing all the points of offense and defense in those places.”

The order turned out to be a daunting task. The Shenandoah Valley, stretching 150 miles in length and 25 miles wide, had never before been mapped in detail. Nevertheless, Hotchkiss accepted the assignment and worked on the map for the rest of the war.

Hotchkiss glued three large sheets of tracing linen together to create a single map, using a scale of roughly 1 inch=1.26 miles. Nearly all of the surveys were done in notebooks while on horseback, and then transferred to the large map using a ¾ inch grid. The map covers the area from north of Winchester to south of Stanton. It includes all of the Valley’s significant natural and man-made features (including mountains, ridges, hills, rivers, streams, creeks, roads, farm lanes, railroads, towns, villages and even the names of individual farms).
 
Army of the Valley Dist.- Staunton to Washington, D.C. to Strasburg
"Army of the Valley Dist.- Staunton to Washington, D.C. to Strasburg”

Pen-and-ink and pencil (some color), bound in “Report of the camps, marches & engagements, of the Second Corps…and of the Army of the Valley…during the campaign of 1864/ illustrated by maps & sketches by Jed. Hotchkiss.”
(approximately 24 x 24 inches).
 
Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia
"Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia”

Pen-and-ink and pencil (some color), bound in “Report of the camps, marches & engagements, of the Second Corps…and of the Army of the Valley…during the campaign of 1864/ illustrated by maps & sketches by Jed. Hotchkiss” (approximately 24 x 24 inches).
 
Map of the Line of Entrenchments at Fisher’s Hill…Battle of Fisher’s Hill, Sept 22nd, 1864
"Map of the Line of Entrenchments at Fisher’s Hill…Battle of Fisher’s Hill, Sept 22nd, 1864"

Pen-and-ink and pencil (some color), bound in “Report of the camps, marches & engagements, of the Second Corps…and of the Army of the Valley…during the campaign of 1864/ illustrated by maps & sketches by Jed. Hotchkiss” (approximately 24 x 24 inches
 
Battle of Belle Grove or Cedar Creek, Wednesday October 19th 1864
“Battle of Belle Grove or Cedar Creek, Wednesday October 19th 1864”

Pen-and-ink and pencil (some color), bound in “Report of the camps, marches & engagements, of the Second Corps…and of the Army of the Valley…during the campaign of 1864/ illustrated by maps & sketches by Jed. Hotchkiss” (approximately 24 x 24 inches).
 
Jedediah Hotchkiss Preliminary Sketch of Shenandoah Valley, circa 1862 or 1863
Jedediah Hotchkiss Preliminary Sketch of Shenandoah Valley, circa 1862 or 1863

Pen-and-ink and pencil (some color) over a 3/8-inch pencil grid, mounted on cloth. This map might have been a preliminary sketch Hotchkiss created while working on his larger map of the entire Valley (approximately 21.5 x 16.25 inches).
 
Jedediah Hotchkiss Map of Washington, DC, Baltimore and vicinity, circa 1860s.
Jedediah Hotchkiss Map of Washington, DC, Baltimore and vicinity, circa 1860s.

Pen-and-ink and crayon on tracing cloth mounted on paper. Map covers portions of northern Virginia, central Maryland and southern Pennsylvania, with concentric circles at 5-mile intervals centering on Washington and on Baltimore (approximately 22 x 34 inches).
 
Part of map of portions of the milit’y dep’ts of Washington, Pennsylvania, Annapolis, and north eastern Virginia…July 1861
“Part of map of portions of the milit’y dep’ts of Washington, Pennsylvania, Annapolis, and north eastern Virginia…July 1861”

Pen-and-ink with some annotations in pencil, on 2 sheets pasted together and mounted on cloth. Probable Confederate copy of Bureau of Topographical Engineers original (approximately 22 x 34 inches).
 
Hotchkiss Battle of 1st Kernstown
"Sketch of the Battle of Kernstown, Sunday, March 23d 1862 / by Jed. Hotchkiss, Top. Engr., V[alley] D[ivision]"

Shows Confederate troop positions and names of some residents. Pen-and-ink with pencil corrections and additions, mounted on cloth (approximately 8.25 x 11.5 inches) .
 
Hotchkiss Battle of 2nd Winchester
"Sketch of the second battle of Winchester, June 13th, 14th, and 15th, 1863 ... by Jed. Hotchkiss, Top. Engr., 2nd Corps:'

Shows positions of Confederate troops and names of some residents. Pen-and-ink and pencil (some color) on 2 sheets of tracing paper pasted together, and mounted on cloth (approximately 17 x 19 inches).
 
Hotchkiss Map of Port Republic
"Topographic map of the battle-field of Port Republic, Virginia, June 9, 1862 I by Jed. Hotchkiss, Top. Eng., Valley Dist. A[rmy of] N[orthern] V[irgini]a:'

Post-war map created in May, 1886
(approximately 11 x 11 inches).


 
Hotchkiss Route from Fredericksburg to Gettysburg
"Sketch of routes of the 2nd Corps A.N. Virginia from Fredericksburg, Va. to Gettysburg, Pa. and return to Orange C.H. Va., June 4th to August 1st 1863 / to accompany report of Jed. Hotchkiss, Top. Eng., 2nd Corps"

Pen-and-ink and pencil (some color), mounted on cloth (approximately 16.25 x 14 inches).
 
Hotchkiss Defenses of Washington
Jedediah Hotchkiss Map of the Defenses of Washington, DC, April 1864.

Pen-and-ink on tracing linen, mounted on cloth
(approximately 14.5 x 11 inches).
 
Hotchkiss Battle of 3rd Winchester
Jedediah Hotchkiss Sketch of the Battle of Third Winchester, September 19, 1864

Pen-and-ink and pencil (some color), mounted on cloth (approximately 13.5 x 13.5 inches)

Last updated: May 31, 2020

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