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Gettysburg, John Bachelder, Gettysburg Battle-Field, Hand-colored Lithograph

The Most Attractive Battlefield Map Produced During the War


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John Bachelder’s Gettysburg Battle-Field lithograph is certainly the most famous Gettysburg Battlefield print. It is still regarded as a superior rendering of the battleground, topography, and troop dispositions for both companies and regiments.

Bachelder had been commissioned by the Army to produce a topographical map with a grid, to accompany a booklet that listed the units according to their position on that grid. The second rendering was the same, but without the grid. Both were in black and white and a bit smaller in size. Bachelder was then given permission to commercially produce the print, which he sized up to add clouds and other details, and had each hand colored.

Bachelder obtained endorsements of this work from many of the participating Union officers, e.g. Doubleday, Hancock, Howard, Sykes, Sedgwick, and Warren – whose signatures are placed in facsimile below the print. Chief among these, and dominating the lower border, is an endorsement from commanding general, George G. Meade, stating, “I am perfectly satisfied with the accuracy with which the typography is delineated and the position of the troops laid out.”

Besides the locations of units and their commanders, there are creeks, roads, bridges, fences, houses and their owners’ names, and places where key officers were killed, wounded, or taken prisoner.

Bachelder, John B. GETTYSBURG BATTLE-FIELD. Hand-Colored lithograph drawn by John B. Bachelder, published by Endicott & Co., N.Y., 1863. Approx. 30-1/2 x 27-1/2 inches (sight), 43-1/2 x 32 inches (overall); in publisher’s original wooden frame and under the original 19th century glass (the original wooden backing has been retained); new rag backing added.  Excellent condition; the predominantly soft green colors are clear, leaving a fresh tone; two usual light acid marks from original backing boards.   

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