Item #7650 Map Shewing the Position of the Lines in Front of Petersburg, Va. Occupied by the 1st Division 9th Army Corps, April 1st 1865. Andrew McCallum, del.

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Map Shewing the Position of the Lines in Front of Petersburg, Va. Occupied by the 1st Division 9th Army Corps, April 1st 1865.

Baltimore: E[dward]. Sasche & Co., lith., 1865. Chromolithograph, 9.25” x 13” plus margins. CONDITION: Good, Copyright line lightly printed and only partly legible, toning and light staining to margins.

A scarce Civil War news map showing the positions of Union and Confederate troops the day before the Third Battle of Petersburg, also known as the Fall of Petersburg.

After the Union victory at the Battle of Five Forks on April 1st, 1865, which saw Maj. Gen. Philip Sheridan’s forces defeat a rebel force under Maj. Gen. George Pickett, the Union Army under Ulysses S. Grant launched an assault on the Army of Northern Virginia’s trenches and fortifications at Petersburg. The Third Battle of Petersburg was fought on April 2nd, 1865 at the end of the 292-day Richmond-Petersburg Campaign and in the early stages of the Appomattox Campaign. The remaining Confederate supply lines were cut, the rebel army sustained losses of over 10,000 men, and the city fell to Union forces the following day.

This map shows the Confederate forces entrenched on the outskirts of the city, defended by two rows of chevaux-de-frise, and the Union positions opposite them, with an abbatis along its front line. Union lines are shown in red, rebel lines are depicted in green, and the no-man’s-land between the two is left uncolored. Other details provided include picket lines, batteries, forts, a signal station, and railroads (City Point R.R., and Norfolk & Petersburg R.R., etc.). As the map was published by a northern publisher for a northern audience, the various units on the Union side are identified, while the information provided on the Confederate side is minimal. The key at lower left identifies details such as “rebel chevaux de-frise,” “Union abattis,” and “covered ways.” 

Over the course of the Civil War, numerous maps of the seat of war, battlefields, sieges, and fortifications, etc. were created by various commercial firms, often to illustrate important events and situations for a public hungry for the latest information. Maps relating to events and places in the news during the war, especially those revolving around Union victories, were reliable income streams for publishers. Such maps were often based on reliable eyewitness accounts, including participants in the conflicts, and narrative text was sometimes added.  

Born in Germany, Edward Sachse (1804–1873) ran a small lithographic firm and publishing house in Germany before emigrating to Baltimore, Maryland in 1848, where, in 1850, he established his own firm. From the 1850s to the early 1870s, Sachse was the primary lithographer of views of the Maryland-Washington area. During the Civil War, the company printed a number of views of military camps and hospitals, some of which were published and sold by Charles Magnus, with whom Sachse had a close working relationship. The firm also produced labels, advertising posters, business cards, and book illustrations. Sachse’s brother Theodore and his sons operated the firm following Edward’s death in 1873. The company lasted until 1893.

Born in Scotland, Andrew McCallum (ca. 1841–1891) came to America in 1862 to fight for the Union and served in the 109th New York Infantry. Due to his education as an engineer he was detailed as aide-de-camp on the staff of Orlando B. Willcox and was also assigned map-making duties. During the Petersburg Campaign, he worked as a sketch artist (or “stringer”) for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Magazine, covering the Siege of Petersburg in the summer of 1864 and for the rest of the war. Harper’s Weekly also published a number of woodcuts based on McCallum’s sketches. McCallum arrived at Petersburg in late July just in time to witness the explosion of a mine placed in a tunnel under rebel lines. The Union forces suffered terrible losses in their assault, and McCallum detailed the extent of the violence. McCallum made a series of drawings for Leslie’s on the imaginative structure of the chimneys that soldiers built for their winter quarters. McCallum also contributed to the chromolithograph The 109th New York State vols. planting their colors on the rebel works in front of Petersburg, Va. April 2nd 1865 (Baltimore: E. Sachse & Co., lith., ca. 1865). Following the war, McCallum became a patent lawyer. The credit to McCallum is incorporated into an orientation arrow in the lower left quarter of the map.

OCLC records only five copies.

REFERENCES: Stephenson, R. W. Civil War Maps (Washington, 1989), pp. 13–21, #607; “Artist Andrew McCallum at Petersburg” at Petersburg Project online; Last, Jay. The Color Explosion : Nineteenth-Century American Lithography (Santa Ana, California, 2005), p. 130.

Item #7650

Price: $675.00

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