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Make Me a Map of the Valley: The Civil War Journal of Stonewall Jackson's Topographer Paperback – January 1, 1973

4.3 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Texas A&M University Press (January 1, 1973)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870742701
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870742705
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #119,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A fabulous memoir! When introduced to Hotchkiss, Stonewall Jackson studied him closely and then said, 'I want you to make me a map of the Valley from Lexington to Harper's Ferry" and then attached him to his staff. Hotchkiss,` originally from New York, came on a walking tour of Virginia in the 1850s and decided to make The Valley of Virginia his home. He had the uncanny gift of being able to make detailed maps from simply riding over the terrain, and these maps served Jackson faithfully. (Unfortunately for Jackson, however, Hotchkiss remained at his task in the Valley and didn't come east with Jackson's army to fight the Peninsula Campaign. Oh for the want of a good map through the swamps of Tidewater Virginia!) At the outbreak of The Sectional War, maps were uncommon because people did not travel far from home. When they did, they traveled by sea, river, or by stagecoach, and hence, there was no need for maps. Hotchkiss was so talented that Lee tried to steal him away but Jackson wouldn't hear of it -- he was too valuable to him. This book is a detail of his journal entries for each day of the war. There is tender insight into the relationships he formed with staff members (Jackson's) as well as a sweetness in his treatment of JEB Stuart whose headquarters he had to visit frequently to consult with other engineers. A pure Virginia gentleman who loved his God, his wife, his daughters, and his country -- Virginia! Unfortunately, the reader is left wanting more. Hotchkiss kept extensive records of the war and they have been compiled and preserved in The Library of Congress and are not downloadable. An amazingly pure primary source!
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By A Customer on November 15, 2001
Format: Paperback
I expected this to be an excellent primary source, full of information on General Jackson, his campaigns and his "foot cavalry", as well as the exploits of the Second Corps after Jackson's death. In addition, I hoped to find some interesting description of map-making during the war. I was quite disappointed. Hotchkiss' memoir is made up of diary entries with an occasional note added later. And they mostly concern the weather, troop movements, and where he slept that night. They are almost devoid of description, emotion, and overall detail. Though Hotchkiss does mention making maps, of course, it's in brief statements like "Reduced Charlottesville today". His account of Jackson's death reads rather like "Jackson died. Fine clear day." It's hard to say whether this dullness represents something about Hotchkiss' personality (unemotional engineer, perhaps?) or is simply a function of the way he wrote his diary. In any case, though scholars of the period will want to glance at this, I found it not very useful and utterly unentertaining.
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Format: Paperback
Jedidiah was an educator, topographer, mining geologist and map maker who became the most famous cartographer and topographer of the American Civil War.
He was commissioned a Brevet Captain by Stonewall Jackson, and continued his service under Generals Ewell and Early after Jackson's death. At the war's end he retired a Major and returned to teaching at the school he founded.
Hotchkiss mapped the Shenandoah Valley for the first time, and documented the Valley Campaign, the Northern Virginia Campaign (including Cedar Mountain, the Second Battle of Bull Run, and Chantilly), the Maryland Campaign (including Harpers Ferry and Antietam), the Battle of Fredericksburg, and the Battle of Chancellorsville.
Other than his "here at the moment" comments, Hotchkiss' journal is not a history book. He doesn't describe battle strategies, decision making of officers, battle planning, or discussion of the personalities of the officers.
This is an 'on-the-spot' narrative. If you are looking for a historical textbook, this is not your book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Jedediah Hotchkiss (Make Me A Map of the Valley...) is to HQ of the "Second Corps", ANV as Albert Speer (Inside the Third Reich) was to Hitler and his close advisors. One feels like the proverbial "fly on the wall", though with Hotchkiss, the wall is made of canvas. The best day to day record of the Second Corps, the hart of the Army of Northern Virginia. I might catalog this journal as a primary reference text. I am a history professor working on a biography of a Virginia MD who was assigned to a regiment in the Second Corps. I now have a mental documentary of the day to day war from the headquarters and those leaders who ultimately made the decisions. They decided the actions that meant life or death, victory or defeat, and ultimately Success or Failure of "The Cause."
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Format: Paperback
All diary type memoirs are repetitive and during those times writers were loathe to criticize fellow officers but in this book you can definitely tell that the writer thought Early was beyond his depth, that Ewell was lazy and that Jackson was hopeless without accurate maps. His comments on price inflation, desertions and politics are interesting. There are some other tidbits like the fact that Lee told him that the Union would have fewer troops in 1864! You really feel the loss of Jackson and other good officers and how morale had sunk to an almost nonexistent level by 1865.
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