Oct 25, 2011

Was the Union disaster at the Battle of Ball's Bluff caused by a simple lack of maps?

(NYTimes) The Battle of Ball’s Bluff does not loom large in our memory of the Civil War. Yet it was the second-largest battle in the eastern theater in 1861 and a complete rout of Union forces. James Morgan, an expert on the engagement, has described it as an “accidental battle” that resulted from erroneous intelligence. But it also reveals something about the wartime role of maps. Continued

Photo: Death of Col Edward D. Baker: At the Battle of Balls Bluff near Leesburg Va. Oct. 21st 1861, (Currier & Ives/Library of Congress)