W. Alvin Lloyd's Southern Rail-Road Map, 1863. W. Alvin Lloyd.

W. Alvin Lloyd's Southern Rail-Road Map, 1863

Mobile, AL: W. Alvin Lloyd (Lith. By W.R. Robertson, Mobile), [after June 20]1863. Lithographed map on thin paper, 16 1/2 x 21 1/2 inches, with light pink, yellow, and green coloring, delineating the railroad systems of the Confederacy, with Texas included in the Atlantic Ocean under the Carolinas, and a large inset of Charleston in the peninsula created by the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Hundreds of towns serviced by the railways are included. Parrish & Willingham 6182 locates three copies (Huntington, Virginia State Library, Virginia Historical Society). OCLC adds two copies (Duke, Virginia). Folds flattened, paper gently toned with a few insignificant spots, wash color faded. A beautiful copy. Item #50670

The main map depicts the rail network of the Confederacy as far west as Louisiana, Arkansas and Missouri, with an inset at lower right continuing the map into Texas. Hundreds of towns serviced by the railways are shown, and tiny stars indicate the locations of forts, coastal batteries and other military installations. At the top of the map a rather curious inset depicts the vicinity of Charleston, South Carolina. The publication date can be narrowed to the latter half of 1863, as the map omits from the Confederacy the western part of Virginia, which seceded from Virginia and rejoined the Union on June 20 of that year.

The map is remarkable for having been published in Mobile in mid- or late 1863, at a time when the Federal blockade drastically reduced shipping in and out of Mobile Bay. The export of cotton was all but shut down by 1863, and the supply situation became sufficiently dire that food riots erupted in April and again later that year. In fact, only one other map was published in Mobile during the Civil War, being an 1863 plan of the siege of Vicksburg.

The map is printed on very thin paper and bears fold patterns consistent with its having been tipped into a pamphlet or booklet. However, there are no other signs of binding, and this writer believes this impression was separately issued (The thin paper may simply have been poor-quality Confederate stock, and the map could have been folded for filing.) In 1864 Lloyd seems to have published a new edition, as we find the following notice in the Richmond Sentinel for January 9 of that year:

“We have received from W. Alvin Lloyd, Esq., of Mobile, a copy of his Railroad Map for 1864. It is well executed and is represented to be very accurate. As the name of every station is distinctly marked upon the map, it will aid materially all having business over the roads, military, gentlemen, &c.”

Muddying the waters somewhat, the title page of Lloyd’s Southern Railroad Guide (Atlanta, June 1864) advertises the inclusion of a “new railroad map.” That work is extraordinarily rare, however, and it has not yet been possible to compare that map and the one offered here. It remains unclear whether this “new” map is identical to ours, to the 1864 map mentioned by the Richmond Sentinel, or is another production altogether.

In any case, Lloyd’s map is very rare, with Parrish & Willingham and OCLC locating a total of eight examples, of which none are in Alabama institutions. There is no record of the map having previously appeared on the market.

W. Alvin Lloyd and W.R. Robertson

Before moving on to Mobile, Lloyd seems to have been in New Orleans, where in 1857 he published W. Alvin Lloyd's Steamboat and Railroad Guide. Little biographical information on Lloyd is available, but the Richmond Examiner for January 8, 1864 offers the following grisly episode:

“We take occasion here to correct the report, which we published some time ago, that Mr. Lloyd was dead, having been killed in a street fight in Mobile. The facts are these: A party of Yankees living in Mobile, infuriated by Mr. Lloyd’s exposure of them, attacked him in the street, and in the affair he received nine pistol wounds, some of them very severe, which disabled him and confined him to his bed for several weeks…. He is still in a crippled condition, being on crutches.”

Lithographer W. R. Robertson also produced the aforementioned map of the siege of Vicksburg by T.S. Hardee (Mobile, 1863) and the plates for S.H. Goetzel’s Rifle and Infantry Tactics. He is not listed in Peters’ America on Stone.


Parrish & Willingham, Confederate Imprints, #6182 (examples at Huntington, Virginia State Library, Virginia Historical Society). OCLC adds examples at Boston Athenaeum, Duke, Harvard, North Carolina, and Virginia. A Google search yields another example at the North Carolina State Archives. Not in Modelski, Railroad Maps of the United States; Phillips, List of Maps of America; Rumsey; or Stephenson, Civil War Maps. Neither Americana Exchange nor Antique Map Price Record lists any examples having been offered for sale.

Price: $15,000.00

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