Gorgeous Maps Reveal the History of America’s National Parks
To celebrate the National Parks System’s centennial, Harvard mined its map collection to find these historic gems.
CAMBRIDGE, Mass.—John Badger Bachelder arrived at Gettysburg before the soldiers’ bodies were buried. He spent the next 84 days studying the battlefield by horseback and filling notebooks with the accounts of injured soldiers from both sides of the battle. He even took some of the wounded back to the scene so they could point out their positions and recount what had happened.
The striking panoramic map of Gettysburg (above) that Bachelder based on this work is meticulously detailed. It depicts where every Union and Confederate regiment stood during each of the three days of battle in July, 1863. His work was so accurate, in fact, that Bachelder was put in charge of deciding where most of the 1,320 physical monuments and