1861 Admiralty Civil War 'Blockade Runner' Map of the Savannah River, Georgia

Savannah River Georgia From the United States Coast Survey 1855. - Main View

1861 Admiralty Civil War 'Blockade Runner' Map of the Savannah River, Georgia


Civil War blockade-runners map of the Savannah River.


Savannah River Georgia From the United States Coast Survey 1855.
  1861 (dated)     26 x 39.5 in (66.04 x 100.33 cm)     1 : 40000


This is an extremely scarce 1861 British Admiralty Chart of the Savannah River and city of Savannah, Georgia, issued at the outset of the American Civil War (1961 - 1865). Although formally neutral in the conflict, British private interests financed blockade runners that sent munitions and luxuries to Confederate ports in return for cotton and tobacco. This map of the Savannah River was doubtless produced for this purpose.

The map is derived from U.S. Coast Survey work in the Savannah region completed in 1855, and although the Admiralty chart is superior in construction and presentation, is substantively similar. Coverage extends from the mouth of the Savanna River, Hilton Head, and Tybee Island, westward towards savanna, as far north as Argyle Island. The triangulation for this map was completed by E.O. Cord, C. O. Boutelle, C. P. Bolles and D. T. Van Buren. The topography is the work of H. I. Whiting. The Hydrography was accomplished by a party under the command of J. N. Maffitt.
Publication History and Census
This map as issued by the British Admiralty in July of 1861, roughly three months after the start of the Civil War. We are aware of only a single edition and there is only one mention of the map in the OCLC. We are aware of at least one other in private hands.


The British Admiralty Office (1795 - Present) or the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office refers to the Branch of the English government that is responsible for the command of the British Navy. In 1795 King George III created the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, known in short as the U.K.H.O., to provide top notch nautical charts to the vast Royal Navy. Prior the founding of the Admiralty the surveying and creation of nautical charts was primarily a commercial venture wherein the cartographer himself, more of than not, actually financed the printing of his own material. The great navigator Cook himself is known to have scrambled for funds to publish his own seminal charts - the most important and advanced of the period. The system of privately funded nautical mapping and publishing left vast portions of the world uncharted and many excellent charts unpublished. King George III, responding significant loss in trade revenue related to shipwrecks and delay due to poor charts, recognized the need for an institutionalized government sponsored cartographic agency - the Admiralty. The first head of the Admiralty, a position known as Hydrographer, was the important cartographer Alexander Dalrymple. Dalrymple started by organizing and cataloging obtainable charts before initiating the laborious process of updating them and filling in the blanks. The first official Admiralty Chart appeared in 1800 and detailed Quiberon Bay in Brittany. By 1808 the position of Hydrographer fell to Captain Thomas Hurd. Hurd advocated the sale of Admiralty charts to the general public and, by the time he retired in 1829, had issued and published some 736 charts. Stewardship of the organization then passed to Rear Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort. It was under Beaufort's administration that the Admiralty truly developed as a "chart making" as opposed to a "chart cataloging" institution. Beaufort held his post from 1829 to 1854. In his 25 years at the Admiralty Beaufort created nearly 1500 new charts and sponsored countless surveying and scientific expeditions - including the 1831 to 1836 voyage of the H.M.S. Beagle. By 1855 the Admiralty's chart catalog listed some 1,981 charts. More by this mapmaker...

The Office of the Coast Survey (1807 - present) founded in 1807 by President Thomas Jefferson and Secretary of Commerce Albert Gallatin, is the oldest scientific organization in the U.S. Federal Government. Jefferson created the "Survey of the Coast," as it was then called, in response to a need for accurate navigational charts of the new nation's coasts and harbors. The spirit of the Coast Survey was defined by its first two superintendents. The first superintendent of the Coast Survey was Swiss immigrant and West Point mathematics professor Ferdinand Hassler. Under the direction of Hassler, from 1816 to 1843, the ideological and scientific foundations for the Coast Survey were established. These included using the most advanced techniques and most sophisticated equipment as well as an unstinting attention to detail. Hassler devised a labor intensive triangulation system whereby the entire coast was divided into a series of enormous triangles. These were in turn subdivided into smaller triangulation units that were then individually surveyed. Employing this exacting technique on such a massive scale had never before been attempted. Consequently, Hassler and the Coast Survey under him developed a reputation for uncompromising dedication to the principles of accuracy and excellence. Unfortunately, despite being a masterful surveyor, Hassler was abrasive and politically unpopular, twice losing congressional funding for the Coast Survey. Nonetheless, Hassler led the Coast Survey until his death in 1843, at which time Alexander Dallas Bache, a great-grandson of Benjamin Franklin, took the helm. Bache was fully dedicated to the principles established by Hassler, but proved more politically astute and successfully lobbied Congress to liberally fund the endeavor. Under the leadership of A. D. Bache, the Coast Survey completed its most important work. Moreover, during his long tenure with the Coast Survey, from 1843 to 1865, Bache was a steadfast advocate of American science and navigation and in fact founded the American Academy of Sciences. Bache was succeeded by Benjamin Pierce who ran the Survey from 1867 to 1874. Pierce was in turn succeeded by Carlile Pollock Patterson who was Superintendent from 1874 to 1881. In 1878, under Patterson's superintendence, the U.S. Coast Survey was reorganized as the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey (C & GS) to accommodate topographic as well as nautical surveys. Today the Coast Survey is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA as the National Geodetic Survey. Learn More...


Good. Some spotty foxing. Verso repairs to centerfold separations. Closed margin tears professionally repaired on verso. Closed tear extending 2 inches into printed area professionally repaired on verso.


OCLC 557395910.