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2007 Catalog > 37. Surgeon General's Office, Map of the United States Exhibiting the Military Depts. & Posts.


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37. Surgeon General’s Office. “Map of the United States Exhibiting the Military Depts. & Posts, 1860” (New York: Lith. of J. Bien, 1860). Published in Statistical Report on the Sickness and Mortality in the Army of the United States, compiled from the Records of the Surgeon General’s Office [1855–1860] (Washington, D.C.: Sen. Ex. Doc. 52, 36th Cong. 1st sess., 1860). Lithographed folding map with bright original outline and full hand color. 13 x 19 3/4" at neat line. Sheet size: 15 3/4 x 21 1/2". Only the slightest toning to u. margin. Fine.

Price: SOLD.

This relatively scarce and unusual map shows the United States divided into seven military districts on the eve of the Civil War. Interestingly, the map had nothing to do with that imminent conflict, but rather it accompanied a report by the U.S. Surgeon General’s office on rates of sickness and death for soldiers in the U.S. Army from 1855 to 1860. The data in the report were compiled according to region and the map was included as a visual aid to identify those regions. Notes Richard H. Coolidge, assistant surgeon of the U.S. Army, at the beginning of the report: “I have also to submit the accompanying outline map of the United States, designed to show the most prominent geographical features of the country, the limits of the military departments, and the positions of the military stations. A similar map has accompanied each of the [two] previous reports on sickness and morality.” The map has a rudimentary watershed and topographical detail, and also includes forts, military camps, and major cities. The divisions are the Military Department of the East, the Department of the West, the Department of Texas, the Department of New Mexico, the Department of Utah, the Department of Oregon, and the Department of California.

A graphically striking and detailed picture of the distribution of U.S. military forces just before the onset of the Civil War.

Refs.: “A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates, 1774–1875” at memory.loc.gov.; Phillips, p. 908.

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