National Geographic Civil War Atlas

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chellers

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I am mulling over the purchase of my first CW atlas and am seeking opinions of this version.

Unfortunately, the best atlas defies portability. I am looking for quality of content and portability.

I'll appreciate any comments. Thanks.
 

AndyHall

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If it's this one, I'd pass. I have a copy, and it's a beautiful book, profusely-illustrated, and the maps that are there are well done -- all of which are to be expected of NatGeo. But the maps make up a relatively small part of this "atlas," and all the other stuff is probably redundant if you have many other CW books, particularly on those events/areas of interest to you. It's written for a general audience, not CW folks. It's a lookin' book, not a studyin' book.

Makes a great gift for your vaguely-interested-in-the-war-but-not-so-much-really friends, though.

One thing you might consider is the magnificent Civil War Trust collection of maps, that can be downloaded, printed, and put in a ring binder. They have just about every major action included, and the big battles are broken out into phases. You can down high-res PDFs of them with free registration.

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chellers

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Hi Andy,

Yes, that was the NatGeo I was considering, so I am most grateful you've steered me away from wasting my money.
I like your idea of printing out Civil War Trust maps. The example you posted is beautiful.

Thanks much, Andy, for your time and comments.

OT, I lived twenty years in Houston and well know Galveston, Bolivar Peninsula, Sabine Pass.

chellers
 
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R. Evans

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:thumbsup: Thanks for posting that link Andy. Outstanding maps!

Marked that for future use. My printer's out of paper at the moment.:banghead:
 

huskerblitz

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I would disagree that the NatGeo Atlas is a waste of money. I would classify it more as a guide to the major battles, something you can follow the map while reading the text. The maps are beautifully done and gives one sense of the land as the battle occurs. But only the major battles are presented in the book.

Honestly, it really depends on just what you want from it. It's an oversized book so portability does become an issue. As stated, the Civil War Trust does have some really great maps but it's lacking in terms of understanding terrain, IMO. Plus you can use CWT maps with WiFi or mobile network access making it very portable.
 
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chellers

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I would disagree that the NatGeo Atlas is a waste of money. I would classify it more as a guide to the major battles, something you can follow the map while reading the text. The maps are beautifully done and gives one sense of the land as the battle occurs. But only the major battles are presented in the book.

Honestly, it really depends on just what you want from it. It's an oversized book so portability does become an issue. As stated, the Civil War Trust does have some really great maps but it's lacking in terms of understanding terrain, IMO. Plus you can use CWT maps with WiFi or mobile network access making it very portable.
Thanks, huskerblitz, for your opinions and comments. I'm very interested in topography and will give NG further consideration, perhaps to supplement CWT maps.

You guys are great!
 

chellers

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AndyHall

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For those who are interested in topography, you might want to familiarize yourself with Google Earth (free download), because it has a feature that allows users to overlay images (e.g., scanned maps or downloaded images of them) onto the modern terrain, which will effectively make the old map three-dimensional, that you rotate, zoom in, set different transparency, etc. It takes a good bit of practice, but very worthwhile for map dorks like me.

Here's an overlay of one of the battles in front of Atlanta, overlaid on its modern location, that I did a while back for reasons I cannot now recall:

BattleofAtlanta2.png
 

chellers

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For those who are interested in topography, you might want to familiarize yourself with Google Earth (free download), because it has a feature that allows users to overlay images (e.g., scanned maps or downloaded images of them) onto the modern terrain, which will effectively make the old map three-dimensional, that you rotate, zoom in, set different transparency, etc. It takes a good bit of practice, but very worthwhile for map dorks like me.
Hey, Andy, you're singing my song! Thanks for the tip.
 
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AUG

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I own this book as well and as Andy said nothing in the book really goes into great detail. The maps are historic topographic maps of battles but many of them can be found on the internet and as Andy said Civil War Trust probably has the best battle maps around compare to anything else. The description of the battles is very brief, things that we already know, just a general overview of everything.

I agree with Eric that the TimeLife Echoes of Glory set is excellent, better than anything from Nat Geo. I also recommend TimeLife's Voices of the Civil War, I love that series! Excellent if you like reading first hand accounts.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_18?url=search-alias=stripbooks&field-keywords=voices of the civil war&sprefix=voices of the civi,stripbooks,391#/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias=stripbooks&field-keywords=time life voices of the civil war&rh=n:283155,k:time life voices of the civil war
 

AndyHall

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I also recommend TimeLife's Voices of the Civil War, I love that series! Excellent if you like reading first hand accounts.
Yes, these are very well done. Not really histories of those battles or topics per se, but fantastic, inter-connected firsthand accounts.
 
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chellers

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I own this book as well and as Andy said nothing in the book really goes into great detail. The maps are historic topographic maps of battles but many of them can be found on the internet and as Andy said Civil War Trust probably has the best battle maps around compare to anything else. The description of the battles is very brief, things that we already know, just a general overview of everything.

I agree with Eric that the TimeLife Echoes of Glory set is excellent, better than anything from Nat Geo. I also recommend TimeLife's Voices of the Civil War, I love that series! Excellent if you like reading first hand accounts.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_18?url=search-alias=stripbooks&field-keywords=voices of the civil war&sprefix=voices of the civi,stripbooks,391#/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias=stripbooks&field-keywords=time life voices of the civil war&rh=n:283155,k:time life voices of the civil war
Aug351, it is very helpful to know that several of you are in agreement on these publications. I so appreciate your thoughts. Thanks, also, for linking the TimeLife Voices series. These sound very interesting.
 

AUG

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Yes, these are very well done. Not really histories of those battles or topics per se, but fantastic, inter-connected firsthand accounts.
Yeah, although the accounts throughout the books are in order with the timeline of the battle or campaign and include some great in detail information, especially for specific actions and battles that you can't find much info on elsewhere, like the Atlanta Campaign for instance.

All TimeLife series that I own are great and well worth it. Their Arms and Equipment of the Union and Arms and Equipment of the Confederacy are both great as well. The TimeLife The Civil War set is also good, although the complete set is pretty expensive so I bought a few individual books from the series and they are great coffee table type books, full of in detail information on the specific battle and full of illustrations as well.
 
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huskerblitz

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I like it. It's not a battlefield atlas like you're interesting in, but it talks about map-making during the era like making accurate measurements amid the hazards of war and commercial map-making during the war. Good information I hadn't seen many other places all in one source.

Plus...I'm a sucker for pull-outs. :thumbsup:
 

chellers

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I like it. It's not a battlefield atlas like you're interesting in, but it talks about map-making during the era like making accurate measurements amid the hazards of war and commercial map-making during the war. Good information I hadn't seen many other places all in one source.

Plus...I'm a sucker for pull-outs. :thumbsup:
Oh this does sound interesting! I love maps and cartography. Thanks for your helpful comments.
 
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