The Best Maps for Wargamers Ever!

The Battle of Spotsylvania, by David Greenspan

‚m sure that most of my readers will be familiar with the wonderfully animated and detailed maps that were created by David Greenspan and published in the American Heritage Pictorial History of the Civil War, by Bruce Catton.

These were more than maps to me when I was an eight-year old boy who was just starting to get interested in the Civil War (sorry my friends, but there are civil wars but there is only one Civil War and that was the one fought from 1861 to 1865 in the United States).
Each map was a veritable diorama of a particular battle, showing the little men as they moved back and forth across the battlefield. Since I was already playing with toy soldiers, the little figures and the colorful buidings and terrain captivated me like nothing else. Anytime I was reading about a Civil War battlefield I would pull my copy of Catton’s book off of the bookshelf and pour over the battlemap to give me a better understanding of what happened. Truth be told though, it wasn’t the understanding that compelled me to look, it was another opportunity to look at all of those little soldiers again.
I never got tired of looking carefully at the map and finding some vignette for the first time, be it some soldiers being held prisoner, an artillery battery unlimbering or a column of troops marching toward the sound of the guns. It occurs to me that one could use the Greenspan illustrations as the basis for replication of the terrain for one of our wargames.  For example, I could use the Spotsylvania or Gettysburg terrain shown on the map but use it for a battle in the AWI or SYW eras.
I only recently found a copy of a map that Greenspan illustrated for the Battle of Freeman’s Farm from the American Revolution. I know that I had seen this map a long time ago, but I had forgotten that the artist had done some maps for the AWI battles.
The Battle of Freeman’s Farm, by David Greenspan
There is not much known about the artist, David Greenspan, but I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his work and to let him know how inspirational they were to me then, as well as now.
I am sure that everyone reading this will be nodding their heads in agreement as this article stirs up some wonderful memories from a long time ago.

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