The antique map, titled "Spottsylvania Court House From Surveys under the direction of Bvt. Brig. Gen. N. Michler, Maj. of Engineers By Command of Bvt. Maj. Genl. A.A. Humphreys, Brig. Genl. & Chief of Engineers. 1867," is a detailed, historical representation of the area surrounding Spotsylvania Court House, Virginia, during the American Civil War. This map was produced in 1867 and photolithographed by the New York Lithographing, Engraving & Printing Company, under the supervision of Julius Bien. It showcases the intricate topography, landmarks, roads, and fortifications in the region, as well as the positions of both Union and Confederate forces during the battle.
The Battle of Spotsylvania Court House was a significant engagement during the American Civil War, fought between May 8 and May 21, 1864. It was a key component of General Ulysses S. Grant's Overland Campaign, aimed at capturing the Confederate capital of Richmond, Virginia. Union and Confederate forces clashed in a series of bloody and brutal engagements around Spotsylvania Court House, with both sides suffering heavy casualties. The battle is particularly notable for the intense hand-to-hand combat that took place at the "Bloody Angle," a bend in the Confederate defensive line, where soldiers fought relentlessly for nearly 24 hours. Despite the staggering losses, neither side emerged as a clear victor, and the Union forces eventually disengaged to continue their advance toward Richmond.