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"Distance between ACW towns" Topic

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1,288 hits since 18 Aug 2015
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Last Hussar18 Aug 2015 12:09 p.m. PST

Any idea how close I should put the towns on the map – I'm looking Eastern Theatre – Virginia/Maryland/Shenandoah ish


KimRYoung Supporting Member of TMP18 Aug 2015 12:13 p.m. PST

Visit your local AAA for exact information


Personal logo The Beast Rampant Supporting Member of TMP18 Aug 2015 12:19 p.m. PST

Will AAA give you stats from 150 years ago?

bogdanwaz Supporting Member of TMP18 Aug 2015 12:41 p.m. PST

I remember reading somewhere that a lot of towns in the Southern PA/MD area were about 10 miles apart, basically the distance a laden ox-drawn wagon could travel in a day.

wminsing Inactive Member18 Aug 2015 12:53 p.m. PST

Are you creating a fictional map? Then towns somewhere from 10-25 miles apart would be about right.

If you're trying to replicate an original map, you should be able to find an period-accurate atlas.


Cold Steel Inactive Member18 Aug 2015 1:29 p.m. PST
45thdiv18 Aug 2015 3:36 p.m. PST

AAA does not sell maps in the UK that i am aware off, but google map is your friend.

Use photo view and imagine all the houses around the towns as trees and farms.

GROSSMAN Supporting Member of TMP18 Aug 2015 4:31 p.m. PST

Considering a man can walk 3 miles an hour walking for 6 hours would give you 18 miles. Think I recall the missions that were built in Texas were about 12 miles apart.
Try looking up old Wargamers Digest had theatre maps for Civil War. I may have one around somewhere, will see if I can find it.

jowady18 Aug 2015 4:39 p.m. PST

If you can (and you can usually get it cheap) you can get a reprint of the Atlas that accompanied the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion. It should tell you everything you want to know, the battles, the towns, rail lines, everything.

rmaker18 Aug 2015 6:39 p.m. PST

About 7-10 miles apart. Three-and-a-half to five miles into town to pick up supplies and deliver produce, the same back to the farm. And most towns would be nothing much – a store/tavern/inn, maybe a blacksmith shop. Bigger towns, like the county seat, would have the multi-purpose business split out into separate establishments and might have a real inn. And, of course, the courthouse.

Bill N18 Aug 2015 7:23 p.m. PST

It depends.

In Virginia you start out with a series of cities and towns along the river fall lines. The distance between these cities and towns is determined by geography. Alexandria is about 10 miles down the Potomac from Washington DC. Fredricksburg on the Rappahannock is about 50 miles from Alexandria, and Richmond on the James is about 50 miles from Fredericksburg. Richmond is 25 miles from Petersburg on the Appomattox and Petersburg is 60 miles from Weldon NC on the Roanoke River.

Radiating north, south and west from those fall line cities and towns you get towns, hamlets or other centers about every 15-20 miles, or about a day's travel, along the main roads. I read somewhere that where possible these main roads tended to follow ridge lines. Those main roads though are interconnected, though so a center along one main road to a fall line city might end up less than 15-20 miles from a center along another road to the same or a different fall line town or city. Then you get towns and hamlets at certain economically or politically desirable locations added in. The various centers can vary significantly in size, with some such as Orange and Culpeper being full blown towns while others were little more than a collection of a few buildings around the crossroads.

East of the fall line in Virginia things will be less regular, as quite often residents used rivers rather than roads as their primary means of transportation. There would also be fewer centers in the mountains, and these would usually be based on river valleys and mountain passes. Areas where rail lines ran also had somewhat different patterns, with stations usually around every 5-10 miles.

Rather than follow general trends though I would echo the suggestion of others that you use contemporary maps to identify the various cities, towns, hamlets, courthouses and crossroads in the areas where you want to be staging your campaign.

DHautpol19 Aug 2015 5:14 a.m. PST

"AAA does not sell maps in the UK that I am aware off, but google map is your friend"

Stanfords map shop at 12-14 Long Acre, near Covent Garden, may carry some.

45thdiv20 Aug 2015 7:21 a.m. PST

I had forgotten about that shop. My wife likes maps so we visited. I picked up some great maps of England that were copies of old survey maps from 1600s. Was going to use them for ECW campaign.

EJNashIII22 Aug 2015 7:58 a.m. PST

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