Library of Congress Project Civil War Map May, 2007 What we’re doing today is map reading. I have several maps I want you to look at, but we have to talk for a few minutes first, to introduce our subject, the American Civil War. [Fill in the blanks as we talk.] When was it? ________________ How long ago was that? ______________ Who was President back then? _____________________ Why was it a “civil” war? What does that mean? _____________________________________________ Who was fighting whom? ________________________ Washington DC was deliberately created to be the Capitol of the United States way back in ______. The states of ___________ and ______________ each gave land to create the 10-mile square Capitol city. The ____________ and _____________ Rivers run through it. There was nothing but farm land, forests and swamps there at the time. The towns of ___________________ and ________________ were nearby ports on the Potomac. By the 1850s, the Americans were becoming seriously divided over the idea of slavery. In the Southern states, slavery was seen as an economic necessity. Their big farms and plantations needed lots of cheap labor to survive. Africans, enslaved and brought to this country, provided that. The slaves and their families were thought of as property, like animals, houses, wagons or furniture. They were bought and sold (even here in Alexandria). In the North, slavery was looked on as a terrible violation of the most basic human rights. Slaves were people, not property, and they had the right to be free. Northerners felt that slavery should be abolished. By 1860, tempers were flaring and violence had started to break out. The Southern states decided they didn’t want to be part of the Union (the USA) anymore. They wanted to set up their own country, where they could have the laws they wanted, instead of having to submit to laws they didn’t agree with. One by one, they seceded from the Union and formed the Confederate States of America. (There were 11 states in the CSA. Can you name them? _________________, __________________, __________________, __________________, __________________, _____________________, _________________, ______________________, __________________, _________________, and _____________________. ) On May 24, 1861, Virginia officially seceded from the USA. The Capitol of the Confederacy was established in ____________________________, under President ________________________________. This meant trouble for Washington. Washington DC was the Capitol of the United States. Lincoln was trying to hold the Union together. When Virginia withdrew, the part of the District that was south of the Potomac, went back to Virginian control. The U. S. Government, just north of the Potomac, was suddenly just across the river from the enemy. Lincoln knew that the Confederate Army could now easily attack and possibly capture Washington. The Confederate Navy could blockade the Potomac, so supply ships couldn’t get upstream to Washington. Lincoln acted quickly. The day that Virginia’s secession became law, he sent the Union Army into Northern Virginia, to quickly occupy the area and hold it for the North. Then they started building a ring of forts around Washington, to protect it. These were not buildings or castles, but “earthwork” forts. The army would choose a big hill, cut down all the trees and lay them around the hill with their branches pointing downhill (to slow down enemy attack), then dig trenches on the top and build gun positions, so that their cannons could shoot at any enemy approaching. Fort Ward was one of these forts. Built between July and September, 1861, and then enlarged in 1863, it was star-shaped, had a perimeter of 818 yards (2 ½ laps around this floor of TC) and had 36 cannons. It never came under Confederate attack, but served as a deterrent. It was abandoned in April, 1865, when the war ended. Why did the war end, do you know? ______________________________________________________________ Look at the ring of forts map. By 1865, there were 161 forts and batteries surrounding Washington, making it one of the best protected cities in the world. The only fort that ever saw any action was Ft. Stevens, way up at the top of the map. Most of the forts are now parks, like Ft. Ward. Now look at the old map. What’s it of? When was it drawn? ____________________ ____________________ Obviously, there wasn’t much out here. What are the blue lines? ________________ The brown lines? __________________ Name them. Do any of them sound familiar to you? What is l l l l l l l l l l l l l l ? ____________________ How many were there? _____ Name them. Why would these make Alexandria important? There are ______ forts pictured. Can you find them all? Name them. Which fort was the biggest? ___________ The highest? ___________ Where was the Generals’ Headquarters (HQ)? ____________________ What is a battery? ___________________ Why would they build a battery at Jones Point? Look at the scale (the ruler) at the bottom of the map. Take your index card, line it up with the corner at 0 and the long side of the card lined up underneath the scale. Mark off a little ruler on the index card. (If the corner is at 0, put tick marks at ½, 1, 1 ½, 2, 2 ½, and 3 miles). Now use your card to measure these distances on the map: The Seminary to Ft. Ward Ft. Blenker to Ft. Scott Balls Cross Roads to Ft. Runyon Long Bridge Alexandria city: length _____ and width The Boot Battery from Ft. Lyon Ft. Ellsworth to the edge of Alexandria _____ miles _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ _____ Now look at your old map and compare it side by side with the new one. Old Map New Map Little River Turnpike is now _____________________ a Leesburg & Alex Tpke _____________________ Old Fairfax Road _____________________ Leesburg Turnpike _____________________ Ft. Lyon _____________________ Ft. Ellsworth _____________________ Columbia Turnpike _____________________ Balls Cross Roads _____________________ Arlington Heights HQ _____________________ Ft. Runyon _____________________ ___________________ Washington National Airport ___________________ Bolling Air Force Base Are the scales of the 2 maps the same? ________ Which map is more accurate? Old or New Do any of the railroad tracks still exist? _________________ Which ones? Now look at the most detailed map. Find T. C. Williams. Where would it be on the old map? Show me. Where do you live? Where would that be on the old map? Show me.