Monday, July 11, 2016

Mapping the Battle of Gettysburg

Mapping Gettysburg is an interactive map of the most decisive battle in the American Civil War. The map allows you to learn more about this important event in American history through eyewitness accounts, original photographs and views of the site as it is today.

At the heart of Mapping Gettysburg is a vintage map of the battlefield from the Library of Congress. This map of the 'Field of Gettysburg, July 1st, 2nd & 3rd 1863' was made soon after the battle and shows "the movements of the respective armies ... compiled from the personal observation of eye-witnesses of the several battles".

Overlaid on this vintage map of the battlefield are markers which allow you to browse photographs of some of the soldiers who fell in the battle, letters and diaries from some of the soldiers, historic photos of the battlefield and modern views of Gettysburg National Park.

Perhaps the most poignant aspect of this map is the vintage photographs and brief pen portraits of some of the Union and Confederate soldiers who lost their lives during the battle. These brief biographies and portraits come from the records of the Gettysburg National Military Park.

If you want to learn more about the actual evolution of the Battle of Gettysburg then you should have a look at this ESRI map on the Decisive Moments in the Battle of Gettysburg. At the heart of this map is a timeline which allows you to view troop movements and the development of the battle from July 1–3, 1863.

The map tiles are based on both an 1874 map of the area and on present-day digital data. The troop positions are determined from historical maps made during and just after the battle. Select a date or a time from the timeline and you can learn more about how the battle played out and even view panoramic images showing views of the battlefield at key moments in the battle.

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