D. B. Harris Map

10 11 2010

Here’s an unpublished map of the First Bull Run battlefield, by Confederate engineer D. B. Harris.  According to the notation, this sketch was used by Beauregard to prepare his map of the battlefield.  It’s a recent acquisition of the Manassas National Battlefield Park and has been provided by Ranger Jim Burgess.  You’ll need to use your photo viewer’s zoom to see the detail.  I’ve viewed the original and it’s quite faded.  It’s difficult to tell exactly what is being depicted here – for instance, is this as of a point in time or does it show movement?  Look at all the guns shown north of the Warrenton Pike, for instance.  Click once for a larger image.  Click that image for a really large image.

By sketch I mean this was made on the field and was not a final product.  As noted on the map, it was surveyed, so it is more than a free-hand sketch.  FYI, Confederate items are in blue.

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6 responses

11 11 2010
Lyle

It looks to show movment, cause it has the Confederates having overrun the Federal batteries on Henry Hill,

11 11 2010
Lyle

I forgot to add that that’s the best original/time of battle map I’ve seen so far for the Battle of Manassas. Other historical maps I find hard to comprehend.

11 11 2010
Allan Guy

Harry-this is amazing. Thank you so much for posting. For a sketch, it is amazingly clear. Anyone fairly familiar to the area can see the layout well and if you have hiked over this area, some of the old roads/landmarks are immediately familiar. I appreciate you posting this and glad it is a recent acquisition to the Battlefield.

Know what is the story of the engineer who rendered this map-D.B. Harris?

Best,

Allan Guy
http://www.aguystudio.com

16 11 2010
Harry Smeltzer

Allan, David Bullock Harris was an 1833 graduate of West Point. He resigned two years after graduation and became an engineer on canals and railways, then settled into planter life. He’s listed on most OOBs as an a-d-c to Beuaregard at BR1, but also appears to have been working on Cocke’s staff. Harris would be with Beauregard for the rest of the war, and under Bory’s direction Harris planned and constructed the defenses of Charleston, SC. He died of yellow fever in Summerville, SC in October 1864, before his promised promotion to Brigadier General could be formally finalized. Check out this site:

http://history-sites.com/cgi-bin/bbs53x/vacwmb/webbbs_config.pl?noframes;read=5680

11 11 2010
John Hennessy

Harry, this is probably the single most important map ever done of the First Manassas battlefield. Back in my NPS Bull Run days, we referred to it constantly. Much of the artillery on the field today conforms with this map. Thanks for sharing it.

12 11 2010
Harry Smeltzer

While I’d love to take credit for it, the thanks all go to Jim Burgess and the good folks at NPS Manassas NBP.

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