For over three years, Aaron Holley, our cartographer, has been working on an Antietam Battlefield base map. Aaron Holley is a native of West Virginia and a lifetime student of the American Civil War. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Forestry and a Master of Science in Forestry from West Virginia University and has experience working on forest conservation projects worldwide. This professional experience has led Aaron to be intimately familiar with the practice of cartography and modern mapping techniques, which when paired with his passion for the American Civil War, results in this outstanding map.
The objective of this initiative is to recreate the 1862 landscape in three dimensions using a computer-based Geographic Information System (GIS), which utilizes modern data collected from such sources as satellites and aircraft combined with historical maps, ground-truthing in the field, and expert input. This results in a map that is true to scale and even usable in a GPS to compare the modern landscape to the 1862 landscape while in the field. For the last year, a committee of “experts”: Jim Rosebrock, Kevin Pawlak, Jim Buchanan, Steve Cowie and Chris Vincent, have reviewed every sector of the map, analyzing fence lines, roads, farmsteads, and the topography for accuracy. This base map is a “living” map that can be updated as new information is obtained, and it serves as the backdrop for Antietam Institute publications, such as Artillery of Antietam and The Antietam Journal.
Now that this initial phase is completed, the Institute is looking to print these base maps not only for members, but for purchase by the public with our vendors. The map will be 24×36 inches and in full color. A draft of the base map was revealed during the Honor Guard event to gather members’ interest and feedback. Based on that, we made some final edits and it was off to the printers!
Figuring in the printing costs, shipping and packaging, we estimate the map will retail for $30. The maps will be available for members to purchase at the fall conference. When members start to see the value of this new and improved battlefield map, and there is an interest for more, the mapping committee will begin looking at recreating the fourteen battlefield maps with the unit positions.