07 August 2014

FREE Visualization Tool for American Revolution Sites, Events, and Troop

I happened to be doing some Revolutionary War research yesterday and I had a need to determine two things for a particular conflict – where did it occur and what troops were involved and where had they moved from.  Let’s be honest here, I am not a person who get’s enthralled with seeing light bulbs on a map showing troop movements (so often seen at the visitors centers at battlefield locations) nor did I ever play with battle figurines as a child.  My needs were to try and prove that a particular person serving in the militia served in a unit which may have crossed the NC/SC state line.

In the course of my searching (initially for a particular creek somewhere near the NC/SC border), I came across American Revolution Sites, Events and Troop Movements (13922 total) created by EleHistory Research. Using this visualizing of history, you can, for example, see what units are positioned where on any given date and using color-coded lines you can see the “movement” of the troops from point A to point B. This showed me what I needed to see for October 1780 (pictured above).

Additionally, you can see select “Sites” such as forts, courthouses, plantations, gristmills, hospitals and much more overlaid.

You can also see a snapshot of what is of interest to you by selecting any of these to examine: Events, Troops, or Time.  All of this information is overlaid on Google maps.

The site describes itself via ...

An interactive map that plots significant places and actions during the American Revolution. The map is an ongoing project to encapsulate interrelated sites, commanders, military units, troop movements, weather conditions, and source documentation into one coherent user interface. Sites include forts, batteries, courthouses, hospitals, churches, schools, plantations, grist mills, iron furnaces, forges, fords, ferries, bridges, inns, ordinaries, taverns, landmarks, camps, battles, skirmishes, sieges, cemeteries, and graves. Each site is plotted only if it existed during the specified time period. Troop movements can be plotted on a daily basis. The map is particularly effective in showing simultaneous historical events.

Once again I have stumbled across a really neat tool.  If you are doing any revolutionary war research, it might help you visualize where an ancestor who served was located on any given day. Before using this tool, do recognize that you will need to have identified under which commander your person served, though some militia units are shown, such as the Onslow (NC) Militia located in Wilmington (NC) on 1776-03-30.  

Didn't see what you hoped?  It's a work in progress.  Check back again in the future and just maybe a battle your ancestor fought in will be included.

Let us know what you discover!

Editor’s Note: You might also visit the EleHistory main page for a collection of History Reports and Published Articles.  Most of these are about the American Revolution.

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