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"Dead rebel sharpshooter," 1863. Courtesy of the Boston Public Library Rare Books Department.

Few events have loomed larger in the history of the war or our nation's memory than the three-day battle of Gettysburg in southern Pennsylvania in July 1863. But how has that turning point been remembered?  We have Lincoln’s few short words delivered at the dedication of the national cemetery, Matthew Brady’s photographs, and as was common practice, maps drawn after the battle.  

The Gettysburg battle maps were drawn under the auspices of an increasingly powerful Federal government, and subject to a pervasive call for common standards. These and many more maps, along with other artistic presentations, have shaped our collective understanding and recollection of this most important battle that illustrates and symbolizes our nation being almost "torn in two."