Civil War fortifications at Raleigh, NC - Location of the southernmost section on today's landscape

A. Roy

First Sergeant
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Sep 2, 2019
Location
Raleigh, North Carolina
In 1863, North Carolina's governor ordered the construction of a circle of earthworks around the capital city of Raleigh, NC. I've been interested in pinning down the locations of these defenses on the modern landscape, to the extent possible. As far as I can tell, nothing has been done to try to preserve any of these earthworks. All of the artillery emplacements have worn away or been demolished, but some of the sites can apparently still be discerned as flat, raised areas on higher ground.

One of the possible sites is at South Saunders Street, near its intersection with the Raleigh Beltline, I-440, south of downtown. Here's a graphic I've put together trying to tie together the 1863 Confederate map with today's landscape. I'd be interested in hearing from others: Do you think this kind of graphic communicates well enough to identify the redan's likely location?

Composite2GreensPlaceCaption.jpg


Here's a further writeup I've done about the redan's location:

https://raleighswall.wordpress.com/...c-southernmost-redan-on-todays-s-saunders-st/

Roy B. -- 19 October 2019
 

CWH1234

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Apr 4, 2019
Location
Wilkesboro, NC
In 1863, North Carolina's governor ordered the construction of a circle of earthworks around the capital city of Raleigh, NC. I've been interested in pinning down the locations of these defenses on the modern landscape, to the extent possible. As far as I can tell, nothing has been done to try to preserve any of these earthworks. All of the artillery emplacements have worn away or been demolished, but some of the sites can apparently still be discerned as flat, raised areas on higher ground.

One of the possible sites is at South Saunders Street, near its intersection with the Raleigh Beltline, I-440, south of downtown. Here's a graphic I've put together trying to tie together the 1863 Confederate map with today's landscape. I'd be interested in hearing from others: Do you think this kind of graphic communicates well enough to identify the redan's likely location?

View attachment 330295

Here's a further writeup I've done about the redan's location:

https://raleighswall.wordpress.com/...c-southernmost-redan-on-todays-s-saunders-st/

Roy B. -- 19 October 2019
ooooo
 

A. Roy

First Sergeant
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Sep 2, 2019
Location
Raleigh, North Carolina
I believe that is the location.

Thanks. Since I did that graphic, I've done more work trying to correlate the 1863 map with today's landscape. This is a difficult task, as there is some error introduced in measuring the locations on the old map. But I do think this location is correct, or very close. Is see you're from NC -- are you familiar with Raleigh?

Roy B.
 

connecticut yankee

First Sergeant
Joined
Jun 2, 2017
I studied all the maps you presented and your notations as to where you feel the promontory and redan are. I think you did a great job comparing modern maps to the two period (1860's) maps and marking the locations accurately. If you were to develop and include one more map to show an even more complete picture of Raleigh's defenses, you might consider overlaying the entire circle of earthworks on the modern street map. I feel such a graphic would be quite dramatic and instructive and a nice addition to the work you've done so far. Again, you did a fine job.
 

A. Roy

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Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Location
Raleigh, North Carolina
If you were to develop and include one more map to show an even more complete picture of Raleigh's defenses, you might consider overlaying the entire circle of earthworks on the modern street map.

Thanks for that! Right now I'm working on extracting the locations on the 1863 map and laying them out on a Google Map, which can be shared. Not quite done with that yet, and it's quite a challenge, as I find that some error inevitably shows up -- whether on my part or that of the original mapmaker.

To be fair, I'm not by any means the first person to try to lay out the Civil War map onto the modern map of Raleigh. But I don't think anyone has yet created the kind of publicly available version that I'm trying to produce.

Roy B.
 

CWH1234

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Wilkesboro, NC
I'd agree, I'm pretty good with comparative in maps too, I also never thought of something you've did, It's a very interesting thought.
 

A. Roy

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Sep 2, 2019
Location
Raleigh, North Carolina
I'd agree, I'm pretty good with comparative in maps too, I also never thought of something you've did, It's a very interesting thought.

I'm very interested in maps, and you can imagine I've used them a lot in research, but I don't have any formal training in cartography or anything like that. Do you know of anything written about methods or technologies for comparing old maps to modern?

Roy B.
 

A. Roy

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Sep 2, 2019
Location
Raleigh, North Carolina
Here is a map I had made by our @AndyHall for my book Locomotives Up the Turnpike. The subject of the book, CSA QM Thomas R. Sharp, created and ran the Confederate Locomotive Works in the old Raleigh & Gaston RR shops in 1862.

That's a fantastic map! I think I might want to be in touch with @AndyHall in the future.

Let me ask you some questions about this Raleigh map:

1. At your point #3, you show the Joint Depot of the two lines. Do you think that the junction there and the layouts of the tracks are close to what exists today? I've been using this junction as one of the anchor points on my modern map of the earthworks. (I've also been using the Capitol building.)

2. Is location #4, Sharp's house, where the corner of Peace and Halifax Streets is today? That would be right across from Peace Institute (now University).

3. Have you run across any references to the redans and earthworks in that area in CW contemporary sources? From what I have been figuring, the earthworks ran across diagonally right about where your map leaves off at the north end, then across the RR tracks. I think one of the redans must have been very near the tracks at that point.

Anyway, nice work, and thanks so much for responding.

Roy B.
 

DaveBrt

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Mar 6, 2010
Location
Charlotte, NC
That's a fantastic map! I think I might want to be in touch with @AndyHall in the future.

Let me ask you some questions about this Raleigh map:

1. At your point #3, you show the Joint Depot of the two lines. Do you think that the junction there and the layouts of the tracks are close to what exists today? I've been using this junction as one of the anchor points on my modern map of the earthworks. (I've also been using the Capitol building.)

2. Is location #4, Sharp's house, where the corner of Peace and Halifax Streets is today? That would be right across from Peace Institute (now University).

3. Have you run across any references to the redans and earthworks in that area in CW contemporary sources? From what I have been figuring, the earthworks ran across diagonally right about where your map leaves off at the north end, then across the RR tracks. I think one of the redans must have been very near the tracks at that point.

Anyway, nice work, and thanks so much for responding.

Roy B.
Glad you like our map. We used the 1873 Birds Eye map to start with and used the certain features (capital building, RR lines, bluff near the Raleigh & Gaston RR buildings) to ensure we got the main points right. Yes to both questions 1 and 2. No, I have no reference to any earthworks.
 

CWH1234

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Joined
Apr 4, 2019
Location
Wilkesboro, NC
I'm very interested in maps, and you can imagine I've used them a lot in research, but I don't have any formal training in cartography or anything like that. Do you know of anything written about methods or technologies for comparing old maps to modern?

Roy B.
What I normally do to compare it put it over the flashlight or some sort of light and put both map ontop of each other.
 
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