Heritage, Summer 2005 Page: 38
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A Look at Texas Car
Map Shown on Pages 36-37
United States Army. Bureau of
Topographical Engineers. Map of
Texas and Part of New Mexico compiled
in the Bureau of Topographl.
Engrs. chiefly for military purposes
1857 in Atlas to Accompany the
Official Records of the Union and
Confederate Armies 1861-1865.
Washington, D C.: U.S. War Dept.
In 1891 the United States War
Department began publishing The
War of the Rebellion: a Compilation
of the Official Records of the Union
and Confederate Armies. The work
eventually encompassed 128 volumes
and an atlas that was issued
in 37 parts and contained 178
plates. Because both Union and
Confederate sources were used,
the maps are considered an especially
record of the war. Plate LIV 
from the Atlas is featured on the
This map is important to Texas
cartography for several reasons.
First, it is a product of the fine cartographic
work produced by the
Corps of Topographical Engineers
for the Civil War official records
publication. The map, clearly a military
planning document, includes
many features of interest to the
operations of the Union Army in
Texas, with information prominently
shown that was pertinent to troop
movements and communication.
For example, the notes on the
rivers of Texas address issues of
navigability and the problems associated
with water levels, currents,
and crossings of vital interest to the
movements of soldiers and supplies.
The information was compiled
by William E. Young, a civil
engineer under the command of
Major \D .,
neer in\th "ea"
the Gulf. "
In the eastern and southe
tions of the state, roads ar
roads, along with observati
topography, are noted on tl
of the map. The overland roa
Fort Smith, Arkansas, to El P
the far western boundary de
major east-west route. The
nings of a rail system are
along with newer roads linki
region to the cities of Vicd
Alexandria, and New Iberia.
railroads were important in
transportation and provide
Union Army with invasion
However, it is in the depic
the strong military presence
western frontier of the state 1
see the roots of the map
indicated by the 1857 date
A map with the same title
Atlas map was printed f
Bureau of Topographical Enm
by Henry F. Walling's
Establishment in New York
1857 (see map detail, pi
page). It was a Bureau comic
of the numerous surveys, rec
sances, and expeditions carr
in Texas and the surrounding
tries dating from 1840. Ad<
information was included fri
Mexican Boundary Survey as
the United States Genera
Office. The List of Authoritie
ed under the title attested
specific sources, and th(
included a chart of latitude a
gitude for 29 named sites.
items were carried over or
In addition, both maps
ed the line of forts begin
the southern tip of the sta
a Military Perspective
engi- Ringgold Barracks at Rio Grande
lent of City and continuing northward to
forts Mcintosh, Ewell, Inge,
Clarke, Camp Hudson, and
rn por- Lancaster. The line then moves
id rail- westward into the northern area
ons on of the Big Bend to Fort Davis and
ie face turns northwestward to Fort Bliss
id from at El Paso. A northern line of fron'aso
on tier forts runs from Fort Gibson
ipicts a on the Arkansas River, southwestbegin-
ward to Fort Washita, Fort
shown, Belknap, Phantom Hill, Fort
ing the Chadbourne, Camp Concho, and
<sburg, across to Fort Davis. The extenThese
sive notations of trails, routes,
1 troop and roads of the military expedied
the tions in the region are depicted,
routes. and these are named for expedition
of tion leaders.
* in the
that we The Civil War Atlas map includes
that is a notation on the lower left corner
in the that the map was forwarded to
Washington, D.C., with a letter by
General N. P. Banks, the comas
the mander of the Union Department
or the of the Gulf, who assumed his post
gineers in 1862. The original 1857 map
Map provided Banks with the basis for
City in the tactical features he needed for
revious operations in the region.
onnais- Map of Texas and Part of New
ied out Mexico, originally drawn and pub3
coun- lished in 1857, appropriated and
ditional annotated by General Banks in
om the 1862 for Union operations in
well as Texas, and republished with the
I Land additional data in the 1880s pro's
print- vides us with an exceptional docuto
the ment. It depicts both the status of
e map the frontier just prior to the Civil
nd Ion- War as well as some of the data
These pertaining to military operations
nto the during that conflict.-Katherine R.
depict- Katherine R. Goodwin is a cartoning
in graphic archivist at The University
te with of Texas at Arlington Libraries.
HERITAGE f SUMMER 2005
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Summer 2005, periodical, Summer 2005; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45369/m1/38/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.