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1867 Weyss Map of the Defenses and Siege of Richmond, Virginia

Richmond. - Main View

1867 Weyss Map of the Defenses and Siege of Richmond, Virginia


Illustrates in detail Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, and its environs, along with Confederate and Union fortifications.



  1867 (dated)     22.25 x 33.5 in (56.515 x 85.09 cm)     1 : 42240


This is an 1867 John Weyss and Nathaniel Michler map of Richmond, Virginia, the Capital of the Confederacy, and its environs. The map depicts the region from the Western Plank Road to Hopewell Church and from Yellow Tavern to Willis Methodist Church. Highly detailed, both Confederate and Union fortifications are illustrated, with Confederate lines colored red and Union lines colored blue. The street grid of Richmond and Manchester are illustrated, and farms, mills, churches, and other landmarks are identified throughout. Several railroads, including the Richmond and Fredericksburg, the Richmond and Petersburg, and the Virginia Central are illustrated and labeled, as are the Mechanicsville Turnpike, the Williamsburg Turnpike, and the Brook Turnpike. Cold Harbor, Virginia, the site of the Battle of Cold Harbor, is located only ten miles northeast of Richmond, situating it, and the battle lines, in the upper right quadrant.
Richmond-Petersburg Campaign
Richmond was strongly defended by General Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia but suffered over ten months of siege during the Richmond-Petersburg Campaign, which lasted from June 9, 1864 until March 25, 1865. Although popularly known as the Siege of Petersburg, the campaign did not take the form of a classic military siege, instead it consisted of nine months of brutal trench warfare, presaging the horrors of World War I. Petersburg was the main supply hub for Richmond, since five different railroads converged there. Numerous actions were fought over the course of the campaign, with most of the fighting near Richmond taking place in October 1864 at Darbytown and Fair Oaks. By the end of the campaign, over thirty miles of trenches stretched from the outskirts of Richmond to the eastern and southern outskirts of Petersburg. Richmond never came under direct Union assault during the campaign. Instead the Confederate government elected to flee the city 'Evacuation Sunday', April 2, 1865, via the last open railroad, the Richmond and Danville. Retreating Confederate soldiers were under orders to burn the armory, bridges, and any supplies left in the city as they left. Since the city was essentially abandoned, the fire spread out of control and destroyed large sections of the city, an event that has become known as the Evacuation Fire. Union troops entered the city the following day (April 3) and were able to finally put out the fire, and soon after began the occupation of Richmond. General Lee and the Army of Northern Virginia surrendered to General Grant seven days later on April 9, 1865, effectively ending the American Civil War.
Publication History and Census
This map was surveyed and drawn by Major John E. Weyss under the command of Nathaniel Michler, engraved by Julius Bien, and published by the War Department in Military Maps illustrating the Operations of the Armies of the Potomac and James in 1869. While this map is well represented in institutional collections, it is rarely on the private market.


John E. Weyss (1820 - June 24, 1903) was an Austrian-American illustrator, cartographer, and engineer. Born in Vienna, Weyss immigrated to the United States in 1848 and settled in New York. He served as a member of the U.S. Government's Mexican Boundary Survey (1849 - 1855), led by Major William Hemsley Emory, because of his training as an illustrator. In the capacity of a civilian artist working for the army, Weyss contributed several illustrations for Emory's report, which was published in 1857-59. Weyss is also credited on eleven of the report's maps. At the outbreak of the American Civil War, Weyss held a position as a civil engineer for the state of Kentucky. Weyss received a commission as a major from the Governor of Kentucky and, due to his professional experience, was assigned to the staff of Captain Nathaniel Michler, the chief topographical officer in the Army of the Ohio. In this role he did survey work for maps of the vicinity of Shiloh and Corinth, both sites of major Civil War battles. Weyss then joined Captain Michler when he moved to the staff of General Rosecrans in late 1862, for whom they made a series of maps of the Battle of Stones River. Weyss and Michler were then transferred to the Army of the Potomac in May, 1863. One of Weyss's first assignments for the Army of the Potomac was a map of the vicinity of Harper's Ferry, Virginia, for which he produced a highly detailed map of the very complex topography of the region. Soon, Weyss was made responsible for the day-to-day detailed mapping during the siege at Petersburg. After the war, Weyss served as the principal surveyor under the direction of Michler during the creation of the atlas Military maps illustrating the operations of the armies of the Potomac and James, May 4th 1864 to April 9th 1865, that was published in 1869. Weyss served the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for another twenty years, until he retired sometime in the 1880s. Weyss died on June 4, 1903, in Washington, D.C. Learn More...

Nathaniel Michler (September 13, 1827 - July 17, 1881) was an American military officer and mapmaker who served during the American Civil War. Born in Easton, Pennsylvania, Michler attended West Point, from which he graduated seventh in his class. Commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Topographical Engineers, Michler participated in the Mexican Boundary Survey from 1851 until 1857, when he was transferred to serve as the chief topographical engineer in surveys for a proposed canal from the Gulf of Darien to the Pacific Ocean from 1858 until 1860. He held the rank of Captain at the outbreak of the American Civil War and served with the Army of the Cumberland from 1861 - 1863, then was transferred to the Army of the Potomac and built defensive works for the Union Army at the Battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, and Petersburg. He was promoted to Colonel in August 1864 and brevetted Brigadier General in April 1865. After the war, Michler served as superintendent in the District of Columbia until 1871 and from 1872 to 1875 was chief engineer with the General Commanding Division of the Pacific. He acted as military attaché for the United States Legation in Vienna, Austria from 1878 to 1880. Learn More...

Julius (Julien) Bien (September 27, 1826 - December 21, 1909) was a German-Jewish lithographer and engraver based in New York City. Bien was born in Naumburg, Germany. He was educated at the Academy of Fine Arts, Cassell and at Städel's Institute, Frankfurt-am-Main. Following the suppression of the anti-autocratic German Revolutions of 1848, Bien, who participated in the pan-German movement, found himself out of favor in his home country and joined the mass German immigration to the United States. Bien can be found in New York as early as 1849. He established the New York Lithographing, Engraving & Printing Company in New York that focused on the emergent chromo-lithograph process - a method of printing color using lithographic plates. His work drew the attention of the U.S. Government Printing Office which contracted him to produce countless government maps and surveys, including the Pacific Railroad Surveys, the census, numerous coast surveys, and various maps relating to the American Civil War. Bien also issued several atlases both privately and in conjunction with a relation, Joseph Bien. At the height of his career Bien was elected president of the American Lithographers Association. After his death in 1909, Bien's firm was taken over by his son who promptly ran it into insolvency. The firm was sold to Sheldon Franklin, who, as part of the deal, retained the right to publish under the Julius Bien imprint. In addition to his work as a printer, Bien was active in the New York German Jewish community. He was director of the New York Hebrew Technical Institute, the New York Hebrew Orphan Asylum, and president of the B'nai B'rith Order. Learn More...


War Department, Military Maps illustrating the Operations of the Armies of the Potomac and James May 4th 1864 to April 9th 1865 including Battlefields of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, Northanna, Totopotomoy, Cold Harbor, The Siege of Petersburg and Richmond Battlefields of Five Forks, Jetersville and Sailor's Creek, Highbridge, Farmville, and Appomattox Court-House. (Washington) 1869.     Military Maps Illustrating the Operations of the Armies of the Potomac and James, published in 1869, compiled all the maps created by Major Nathaniel Michler and Major John E. Weyss of all the major battlefields of the eastern theater of war during the American Civil War. These maps blended together surveys done by soldiers both before and during battles and work done by Weiss and his team of engineers after the war was over. Many of these maps were reduced in order to be republished in the Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, which has become the standard reference for Civil War military maps.


Very good. Toning along original centerfold. Closed margin tears professionally repaired on verso. Verso repairs to centerfold separations. Blank on verso.


Rumsey 3881.009. OCLC 123833525.