Jedediah Hotchkiss and Family
Jedediah Hotchkiss, the foremost military cartographer for the Confederacy during the Civil War, poses with his wife, Sara Ann, and his daughters, Nellie and Anne, in this 1870 albumen silver carte-de-visite. (This popular format originated in France and consisted of an albumen photographic print mounted on a board roughly the size of a calling card—thus its French name "carte-de-visite.") This image was taken by B. M. Clinedinst, photographer from Staunton, Virginia, where the Hotchkiss family lived after the war.
A self-taught cartographer noted for his detailed and accurate maps, Hotchkiss often made his sketches while on horseback. He sometimes found himself in hazardous situations. A biographical sketch of Hotchkiss contained in the 1909 Men of Mark in Virginia: Ideals of American Life noted that during the war "two horses were killed under him and in the battle of the Wilderness his life was saved by his field glasses which intercepted a ball which otherwise would have struck his heart."
After the war Hotchkiss, taught for several years before taking up engineering full-time. He became an avid promoter and investor in the development of mining and timber interests in western Virginia and neighboring West Virginia. He also lectured about the Civil War and topography, and wrote the Virginia volume in the twelve-book set Confederate Military History. Hotchkiss died at his home, the Oaks, on January 17, 1899.