John Bachmann (1814-1896). “Bird’s Eye View of Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia.” From a series titled Panorama of the Seat of War.
New York: John Bachmann, 1861. Second state. 18 x 28 ¼ (image). Chromolithograph. Left hand margin trimmed to image but skillfully re-margined with matching period paper. Several short tears in bottom margin repaired with archival tape. Printer’s wrinkle right hand margin just into image. Light scattered stains in margins. Else, good condition. Rare second state.
This fascinating print is half view, half map. The scene looks down upon the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries from a ‘bird’s eye view.’ It shows the progress of the Union blockade against the Confederates, and it was designed for a Northern audience. Along the right side one can see Wilmington, Baltimore, and Harper’s Ferry, including the water and road network that connected these points to the south. Norfolk, Petersburg, Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Washington are seen in the center of the image, with fine detail. One of few documents to show the entire Delmarva Peninsula and as far west as the Shenandoah Valley. Also shown are the forts and ships along and in the Chesapeake Bay and to the north. A dramatic and informative image of the Virginia, Maryland and West Virginia center of action during the Civil War.
Three states of this print were issued; two by John Bachmann and one by Charles Magnus who acquired the plate in 1864. In the second state, Bachmann added smoke over the Manassas Battlefield (First Battle of Bull Run) as can be seen in the close-up photo. In the third state, issued by Magnus, the smoke and information on either side of the title in the bottom margin was removed, and the Magnus publication line replaced the Bachmann information. Most examples of this view are the third state which makes this second state rare.