A Map Designers’ Journey Through Hallowed Ground



Having grown up in Virginia, working as the designer for the Journey Through Hallowed Ground map has brought back many fond memories. At one time or another, I have visited most of the towns, fished or canoed the creeks, and strolled through many of the parks shown on this map. For most native Virginians, the importance of place and history (particular the Civil War) has been instilled in us from the time we were born. This map merely alludes to this fact.

The graves of twelve generations of my mother’s family can be found between Virginia and Maryland— on Virginia’s Northern Neck, some of these date back to 1660. My father’s family migrated from Virginia’s Tidewater area, through the Piedmont, and into the Shenandoah Valley finally settling south of Roanoke. Needless to say, both sides witnessed the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War, and other wars well beyond Virginia’s borders. Simply put, my roots and those of my family are deeply entwined with those of this region, now known as Where America Happened™.

My personal association with this very unique place inspired me to design a map that encapsulates the many notable sites, peoples, and events that have had a significant part in the course of our history. This map was designed to do more than locate places and identify events. Its main purpose is to welcome the reader to the remarkable historical and cultural landscape that is the Journey Through Hallowed Ground.

Robert E. Pratt

Formerly a National Geographic Maps staff member with 28 years of service, Robert E. Pratt is now a freelance map designer. The Civil War, U.S. maritime wrecks, an related historical topics are among his areas of interests.

Changing Planet

Meet the Author
Juan José Valdés is The Geographer and National Geographic Maps' Director of Editorial and Research. He guides and assists the Map Policy Committee in setting border representations, disputed territories, and naming conventions for National Geographic. As NG Map's Director of Editorial and Research, he is responsible for ensuring the accuracy and consistency of its maps and map products.