1862 Smith Map of the United States During the American Civil War

Map of the United States of North America, Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and British Columbia. Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica, St. Domingo and the Bahama Islands. - Main View

1862 Smith Map of the United States During the American Civil War


Likely published to benefit from interest in the American Civil War in Britain.


Map of the United States of North America, Upper and Lower Canada, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and British Columbia. Mexico, Cuba, Jamaica, St. Domingo and the Bahama Islands.
  1862 (dated)     27.25 x 38.5 in (69.215 x 97.79 cm)     1 : 5702400


This is an 1862 'Smith and Son' map of the United States during the American Civil War. Likely created to capitalize on British interest in the conflict, the map depicts from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean and from Canada (labeled as British Possessions) to the Yucatan Peninsula and the West Indies. The railroad network throughout the eastern United States is illustrated here in detail, with constructed railroads indicated by two parallel black lines with shorter lines resembling railroad ties connecting the two. Interestingly, further west prospective railroads are noted by two parallel lines without the railroad ties, including the proposed transcontinental routes.
The American Civil War - The Union and the Confederacy
Capturing a crucial and truly pivotal moment in American history, the geography presented here encapsulates both the fluid nature of the period and, in many ways, the unclear boundaries of the American West. Beautifully colored, perhaps the most striking aspect of this aesthetic is the division between the Union and the Confederacy. The Confederacy, most of the American southeast, is bordered in a bright blue, which created a stark contrast with the red used to highlight the Union States.
Western Geography
Intriguingly, as they are illustrated here, both the Union and Confederacy do not extend into the western territories, with the exception of Texas, which had been admitted as a state on December 29, 1845. This leaves a large portion of territory then claimed by the United States, including the state of California, unaffiliated. Maps of the United States in 1862 vary in their depiction of the geography of the western territories and states, although some events are notably concrete. These include the admission of Kansas as a state on January 29, 1861, and the organization of the Colorado Territory on February 28, 1861. The boundaries of the Washington Territory and Oregon, which was admitted as a state in 1859, are illustrated here more in their original territorial configurations. Others, such as the boundaries of the Nebraska Territory, the unincorporated Dakota or Dacotah Territory, and the Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah Territories are much more fluid. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the geography of the American West presented here is the inclusion of Confederate Arizona and the 'L' shape of the New Mexico Territory, which we have not encountered on any other map.
Confederate Arizona
Confederate Arizona was a territory claimed by the Confederate States of America from 1861 until 1865. The idea for an Arizona Territory appears as early as 1856, when the government of the Territory of New Mexico began to express concerns about being able to effectively govern the southern part of the territory, as it was separated from Santa Fe by the Jornada del Muerto, a particularly unforgiving stretch of desert. The New Mexico territorial legislature acted on these concerns in February 1858, approving a resolution in favor of creating an Arizona Territory, with a north-south border to be defined along the 32nd meridian (from Washington). Impatiently waiting for Congress to approve the creation of the new territory, 31 delegates met at a convention in Tucson in April 1860 and drafted a constitution for the 'Territory of Arizona', which was to be organized out of the New Mexico Territory below 34th parallel. The convention even elected a territorial governor and a delegate to Congress. Congress, however, was reluctant to act. Anti-slavery Representatives knew that the proposed territory was located below the line of demarcation set forth by the Missouri Compromise for the creation of new slave and free states, and they were not inclined to create yet another slave state. Thus, Congress never ratified the proceedings of the Tucson convention, and the Provisional Territory was never considered a legal entity.

At the beginning of the Civil War, support for the Confederacy ran high in the southern parts of the New Mexico Territory. Local concerns drove this sentiment, including a belief that the war would lead to an insufficient number of Federal troops to protect the citizens from the Apache, while others simply felt neglected by the government in Washington. Also, the Butterfield Overland Mail Route (an overland mail and stagecoach route from Memphis and St. Louis to San Francisco) was closed in 1861, depriving the people of Arizona of their connection to California and the East Coast.

All of these factors led to the people of the southern New Mexico Territory, or the Arizona Territory, to formally call for secession, and a convention adopted a secession ordinance on March 16, 1861, with a subsequent ordinance ratified on March 28, establishing the provisional territorial government of the Confederate 'Territory of Arizona'. The Confederate Arizona Territory was officially proclaimed on August 1, 1861 following Lieutenant-Colonel J. R. Baylor's victory over Union forces in the First Battle of Mesilla, and the territory was officially recognized by the government of the Confederacy on February 14, 1862. However, by July 1862, Union forces from California, known as the 'California Column' were marching on the territorial capital of Mesilla. Sent to protect California from a possible Confederate incursion, the 'California Column' drove Confederate forces out of the city, allowing them to retreat to Franklin, Texas. The territorial government fled as well and spent the rest of the war in 'exile'. First, they retreated to Franklin, then, after Confederate forces abandoned Franklin and all of West Texas, to San Antonio, where the 'government-in-exile' would spend the rest of the war. Confederate units from Arizona would fight for the rest of the war, and the delegate from Arizona attended both the First and Second Confederate Congresses.
The Unincorporated Territory of 'Dacotah'
Another intriguing aspect of this map's geography is the depiction of the unincorporated territory of Dacotah, or as it is labeled here Dakota. This is strange because this territory existed during the nearly three year period between Minnesota's statehood on May 11, 1858 and the creation of the Dakota Territory in March 2, 1861, when the portion of what had been the Minnesota Territory that fell between the Missouri River and Red River, Minnesota's newly-created western border, remained unattached to any official territory of the United States, as it is illustrated here. But, as is stated above, the official Dakota Territory was created on March 2, 1861, meaning that the boundaries as they exist here are out of date, which also reflects on the border of the Nebraska Territory as they appear here as well. When the Federal government formed the Dakota Territory, it included most of present-day Montana, Wyoming, and both North and South Dakota which created today's northern border of Nebraska.
Railroads and the American Civil War
Railroads, which are depicted here in detail, played a critical role in the American Civil War and served as lifelines for both the Union and Confederate armies. Instead of an army supplying itself off the bounty in nearby cities, arms, supplies, men, and other necessities could be sent directly to the army by rail, which allowed the battles to occur farther away from the populated areas, unlike in earlier wars. Every battle during the war was fought within twenty miles of a rail line, and the Union targeted rail junctions in the South, such as Corinth, Mississippi and Atlanta, Georgia.
Publication History and Census
This map was created and published by Smith and Son in 1862. The OCLC records examples as being part of the institutional collections at the University of Texas at Arlington and The British Library. We are also aware of an example which is part of the Wellcome Collection in London.


Charles Smith (1768 - 1854) was 19th century British publisher of maps, atlases, and charts, most of which focused on England and London. Smith was appointed map seller to the Prince of Wales in 1809. His early work stylistically resembles the work of Pinkerton, Cary, and Thomson, though on a much smaller scale. From 1826 to 1854 the business traded as Charles Smith and Son. After Charles Smith's death in 1852 the it was taken over by his son William Smith, and later his grandson Guildford Smith (1838 - 1917), who continued to publish maps well into the 20th century. The younger Smith is best known for his introduction of the 'Tape Indicator Map'. This map, which came with a tape measure, enabled users to triangulate their location based coordinates given in an attached guide. The firm was taken over by George Philip in 1916. Learn More...


Very good. Dissected and mounted on linen in 24 panels. Exhibits light toning and transference. Blank on verso.


OCLC 57582701.