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American History Maps: Civil War and Reconstruction

This LibGuides contains various types of maps representing different periods in American History.

Civil War and Reconstruction Era

Tensions over slavery, state's rights, and westward expansion eventually led to the war between the states. The Civil War began with the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter ion April 12, 1861 and ended on April 9, 1865 when General Robert E. Lee surrendered. After the Union victory, a period of Reconstruction began, lasting until 1877. 

Click on maps to link to source and zoom in on details.

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Civil War and Reconstruction Maps

Southern Secession and Union Readmission Map
Click on map to access interactive timeline.

Source: American Civil War Homepage


Pre-Civil War United States, 1860
A map of the United States in 1860 showing the states and territory boundaries at the time, and is color–coded to show the slave States and distribution of slaves, the free states, and the territories, all open to slavery under the Compromise of 1850 (under the decision of the Supreme Court and under Southern claims that slavery should exist until status should be fixed by state constitution, pending the statehood of the territory).

Source: Dixon Ryan Fox, Harper's Atlas of American History (New York, NY: Harper & Brothers Publishers , 1920) 55
Map Credit: Courtesy the private collection of Roy Winkelman. Available from Maps ETC


The United States Secession, 1860–1861
A map showing the secession of the Confederate States from the Union, from the secession of South Carolina (December 20, 1860) to the secession of Tennessee (June 8, 1861). The map is color–coded to show the Federal States and territory (including the Union slave–holding States of Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland, and Delaware), and the Confederate States and territories. 

Source: Ward, Prothero, and Leathes, The Cambridge Modern History Atlas (New York, NY: The Macmillan Company, 1912) 
Map Credit: Courtesy the private collection of Roy Winkelman.  Available from Maps ETC


Post Civil War United States, 1865–1892
A map of the United States after the American Civil War showing political facts, boundaries, and conflicts regarding the post-Civil War reconstruction.

Source: The American Republic (Chicago, IL: John W. Iliff and Co., 1892) 25
Map Credit: Courtesy the private collection of Roy Winkelman. Available from Maps ETC

Battles of the Civil War - Interactive map.

Click on map to link to source. Click on a state or territory to view location of principle battles. Click on battle for more information.

Source:Civil War website


The Entire Civil War Animated Map, April 12, 1851 - May 9, 1865
See the entire Civil War unfold, from Fort Sumter to Appomattox and beyond.
Click on map to access animation

More Civil War Animated Maps

Antietam Animated Map - September 17, 1862 Gettysburg Animated Map - July 1-3, 1863
Shiloh Animated Map - April 6-7, 1862 The Overland Campaign Animated Map - May 4 - June 24, 1864
Chickamauga Animated Map - September 19-20, 1863 Vicksburg Animated Map - May 18 - July 4, 1863

Source: Wide Awake Films in partnership with the American Battlefield Trust

Field of Gettysburg, July 1st, 2nd & 3rd, 1863 
Oval-shaped map depicting troop and artillery positions, relief by hachures, drainage, roads, railroads, and houses with names of residents. Description derived from published bibliography. From his Theodore Ditterline's sketch of the battles of Gettysburg

Source: Ditterline, T. (1863) Field of Gettysburg, July 1st, 2nd & 3rd. [Philada. P. S. Duval & Son lith] [Map] Retrieved from the Library of Congress Civil War Maps..


Military Districts in the South: 1867
Congress assigned the ary to oversee the creation of non-discriminatory state governments in the former Confederacy.  Virginia was treated as a special case and constituted a supervisory district of its own. Tennessee, which had ratified the Fourteenth Amendment, was ot subject to the Reconstitution Act of 1867.

Source: Mapping History, website created with funds provided by the University Of Oregon.


Duration of Radical Governments in the South, 1865-1877
The Reconstruction Act of 1867 prepared the way for bi-racial governments in the former Confederacy.  While under military supervision, the Confederate states drafted new constitutions permitting African Americans to vote. As these were recognized, states were readmitted to Union.
Click on map to start interactive timeline.

Source: Mapping History, website created with funds provided by the University Of Oregon.