Featured Exibit

This exhibit changes several times a year.

Jed Hotchkiss, Shenandoah Valley Mapmaker during the Civil War

Jed Hotchkiss (1828-1899) remains one of America’s finest mapmakers. As a topographical engineer in the Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia, he drew maps and made sketches in the field, and he often did so on horseback. His finished maps served the Confederate officers in planning military strategy. Today his maps are admired for their remarkable accuracy and detail. They provide a vivid record of the Shenandoah Valley during the Civil War.

This exhibition, at the Heritage Museum at Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society, focuses on maps created by Jed Hotchkiss. Reproductions of his maps from the Hotchkiss Map Collection in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress will be on display. The exhibition is divided into sections which cover:

• Hotchkiss’s personal life, including his schools in Augusta County.

• Techniques of making maps.

• The Civil War period.

• The Great Map of the Shenandoah Valley.

• The Post Civil War period of Hotchkiss’s life.

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, Virginia created the exhibition in the fall of 2008. One of the curators of the exhibition, Richard W. Stephenson, was a former staff member at the Library of Congress, and will be a featured speaker. Mapmaker for General Stonewall Jackson, Hotchkiss skillfully formed maps which accurately located peculiarities of terrain, residence, and troop positions. Stonewall Jackson’s success in eluding and defeating the larger Federal army was due in part to geographical information he received from his trusted topographical engineer. Hotchkiss’s maps of the Shenandoah Valley remain without parallel.

This exhibit has been extended to May 8, 2011.

See the Programs webpage for programs about this exhibit.

• An additional featured exhibit opened on April 1, 2011, "The Mary Etter Dress Collection".

• Following this will be an exhibit featuring "Frakurs of Rockingham County" opening June 4, 2011.

Civil War Mapmaker