Atlas of the Civil War: A Complete Guide to the Tactics and Terrain of Battle by Stephen Hyslop, Neil Kagan, and Harris Andrews, National Geographic Incorporated, 255 pages, additional readings, index, 2009, $40.00
Comprehensive is a word of which CWL is suspicious. National Geographic's Atlas of the Civil War A Comprehensive Guide to the Tactics and Terrain of Battle is pretty close to comprehensive though.
Organized as a chronological account with eighty-five rare period maps, this atlas offers the map maker's history of the American Civil War. Campaign maps surveying whole regions and strategies, contemporary battlefield charts used by Union and Confederate generals, commercial maps produced for a newspapers are the majority of the maps in the atlas. The key moments of major battles are pinpointed by National Geographic’s cartographers using satellite data to render the terrain with astonishing detail in 35 maps created for the atlas.
In addition, there are over 300 documentary photographs, battlefield sketches, paintings, and artifacts bear eyewitness testimony to the war, history’s first to be widely captured by photography. Users of William J. Miller's Great Maps of the Civil War: Pivotal Battles and Campaigns, Earl McElfresh's Mapping For Stonewall and Maps and Mapmakers of the Civil War, the Atlas to the Official Records, the West Point Atlas of the Civil War, and the numerous online map collections of universities and libraries will be content with the depth and clarity of reproductions in this atlas. Those coming to Civil War era maps and map making for the first and second time could hardly do better that the National Geographic's atlas. Those looking for a large format nearly comprehensive book on the military aspects of the war will find in this big, handsome coffee table book to be hefty both in its weight and its contents.