On Saturday, October 9, 2010, a bus tour of Jed Hotchkiss related-sites in Augusta and Rockingham Counties in Virginia will take place. This event is co-sponsored by the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Historical Society and the Augusta County Historical Society at a cost of $65 per person with a box lunch included. Reservations can be made by calling 540-879-2616 by September 30th.
Participants will board the tour bus in downtown Staunton, VA at 8:30 AM at the Augusta County Historical Society at 20 South New Street.
Jedediah “Jed” Hotchkiss (1828-1899) served as a topographical engineer in the Second Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia during the Civil War. He is famous not only for the quality of his maps, but that they were so well done and accurate despite having been done in the field and some even on horseback.
The itinerary includes a visit to the Heritage Center in Dayton, VA, home of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham County Historical Society. The Center has had an ongoing exhibit since August 2010 featuring Hotchkiss maps and emphasizing his influence. His work was, and is, held in such esteem that many of General Stonewall Jackson’s victories of the Valley Campaign are attributable in part to Hotchkiss’s map detail. His particular techniques in map-making as well as his ability to “accurately locate peculiarities of terrain, residence, and troop position” is still studied.
According to the Heritage Center website, this exhibition was first created by The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, VA in 2008. Digital images of Hotchkiss’s maps are displayed from the Hotchkiss Map Collection in the Geography and Map Division of the Library of Congress, including his Great Map of the Shenandoah Valley.
Additional tour stops will include schools where Hotchkiss served as principal, churches he attended, his Staunton, VA home, and the cemetery where he was laid to rest. The tour is expected to end at 5:30 PM.