Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mapping Pell's Point

Several weeks ago, one of the folks on RevList, expressed an interest to me in seeing Revolutionary War-era maps of the New York campaign combined with modern satellite imagery. I recently came up with a way to do this using nothing more sophisticated than Microsoft Excel and MS Paint. The results appear below.

The Revolutionary War map used for this comparison is from a circa 1776 Charles Blaskowitz map that shows the movements of the British army from Throg’s Neck, to the roads leading to White Plains. Below is a segment of his map showing the place where the battle of Pell’s Point was fought.

Below are a series of images that show the area today either alone or in combination with part of the Blaskowitz map. The modern maps and the Blaskowitz map don’t align perfectly, but on the whole the comparison shows that the Blaskowitz map was executed skillfully and that it does providea good guide as to the appearance of the area in 1776.

In the part of the Blaskowitz map shown below, the British can be seen landing at Pell's Point on the bottom of the map and marching inland along a road leading north (towards the top). The skirmish site is at upper right.

A note to readers: Most of the people who visit this blog use Microsoft Explorer as their web browser. My recommendation is to use Google Chrome – when you click on one image, it will bring up a slideshow of full-sized versions of all of the images in a given post. It’s a pretty cool effect. Please note, however, that if you have a slow connection, the images in the slideshow may not instantly load.

Below is a copy of the map I used in my first blog post on Pell's Point. This roughly shows where the British and American units were in relation to the modern terrain during the main phase of the fighting. The red lines correspond with roads present at the time of the battle.

Three American units are represented by blue circles. They are: 1 = Joseph Read’s 13th Continental Regiment, 2 = William Shepard’s 3rd Continental Regiment, and 3 = Loammi Baldwin’s 26th Continental Regiment. These units were commanded by Colonel John Glover.

Two British units are represented by white circles with red letters. They are 1 = the British light infantry, and 2 = the British grenadiers. Some British and Hessian units that were in the vicinity at the time are not marked on the map for lack of clear guidance from the source material. For example, the 1st Jager Company and possibly Colonel Carl von Donop’s brigade of Hessian grenadiers were somewhere in the wooded area between #1 and #2 (cf. the accounts by Archibald Robertson and Carl Leopold Baurmeister [list]).

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