Robert Knox Sneden, Scrapbook

A Guide to the Robert Knox Sneden Scrapbook, 1861–1865
Collection Number 1994.80.1–538 (Mss5:7 Sn237:1)


Original scrapbook is not open for research. Researchers will be shown photocopies or digital surrogates of scrapbook pages. 

Use Restrictions
There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation
Robert Knox Sneden scrapbook, 1861–1865 (1994.80.1–538), Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Va.

Original scrapbook purchased from Charles F. Ash with funds provided by Mr. and Mrs. Floyd D. Gottwald, Jr., Richmond, Va., in 1993.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Robert Knox Sneden scrapbook, 1861–1865.

Collection number: 1994.80.1–538

Size: 4 v. (525 p.)

Language: English

Main Entry: Sneden, Robert Knox, 1832–1918.

Abstract: This scrapbook was prepared and bound in four individual volumes after the Civil War by Robert Knox Sneden (1832–1918) and concerns his service in the 40th New York Infantry Regiment and as a topographical engineer in the III Corps, Army of the Potomac.

Scope and Content Information

This collection consists of a scrapbook compiled by Robert Knox Sneden (1832-1918), a Canadian who served during the American Civil War in the 40th New York Infantry Regiment and as a topographical engineer in the III Corps, Army of the Potomac. The scrapbook contains approximately one hundred hand-drawn maps of campaigns, battles, naval engagements, and site locations, including prison camps. Also included are approximately four hundred watercolor drawings by Sneden portraying landscapes, towns, houses, public buildings, army camps, battles, and war prisons, many of which were executed in the field. These maps and drawings cover the northern Virginia area during the winter of 1861-1862, and all of the subsequent campaigns of the Army of the Potomac. The drawings and maps from the period following his capture by Confederate forces in November 1863 provide the only known images of some Confederate prison camps. Throughout the scrapbook, Sneden supplies handwritten descriptive commentary.

Major military events covered in the scrapbook include the Peninsula, Chattanooga, Vicksburg, Atlanta, Mine Run, and Petersburg campaigns, Sherman's March to the Sea and his March through the Carolinas, and the battles of First and Second Bull Run, Fort Donelson, Shiloh, Chickamauga, the Seven Days', Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Spotsylvania Court House.

Also, includes printed, photographic and sketched portraits of Union and Confederate military commanders and maps and printed images of the Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection of 1899.


The original four bound volumes of the scrapbook were disassembled for exhibition and conservation purposes. Retained in pagination order.

Biographical/Historical Information

Robert Knox Sneden (1832–1918) was born in Nova Scotia and later moved to New York City, where, in the summer of 1861, he enlisted in the 40th New York Infantry Regiment. Sneden served with the Army of the Potomac in Virginia during the Peninsula Campaign and the Seven Days' Battles and in Washington, D.C., as a topographical engineer on the staff of Maj. Gen. Samuel P. Heintzelman. In November 1863 he was captured by Mosby's Rangers and spent the next thirteen months as a prisoner of war in various Confederate prisons including Andersonville in Georgia. After his exchange in December 1864, he was discharged and returned to New York City where he compiled a diary/memoir and a scrapbook of images documenting his service in the Civil War. He died at the Soldiers Home in Bath, N.Y., in 1918.

Index Terms

Antietam, Battle of, Md., 1862.
Atlanta Campaign, 1864.
Bull Run, 1st Battle of, Va., 1861.
Bull Run, 2nd Battle of, Va., 1862.
Chancellorsville, Battle of, Chancellorsville, Va., 1863.
Chattanooga, Battle of, Chattanooga, Tenn., 1863.
Chickamauga, Battle of, Ga., 1863.
Confederate States of America. Army -- Officers -- Portraits.
Fort Donelson, Battle of, Tenn., 1862.
Fredericksburg, Battle of, Fredericksburg, Va., 1862.
Georgia -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Campaigns -- Maps.
Gettysburg, Battle of, Gettysburg, Pa., 1863.
Maryland -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Campaigns -- Maps.
Mine Run Campaign, Va., 1863.
Mississippi -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Campaigns -- Maps.
Peninsular Campaign, 1862 -- Maps.
Pennsylvania -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Campaigns -- Maps.
Petersburg (Va.) -- History -- Siege, 1864-1865 -- Maps.
Philippines -- History -- Philippine American War, 1899-1902 -- Maps.
Philippines -- History -- Philippine American War, 1899-1902 -- Pictorial works.
Scrapbooks -- United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
Seven Days' Battles, Va., 1862.
Sherman's March through the Carolinas.
Sherman's March to the Sea.
Shiloh, Battle of, Tenn., 1862.
Sneden, Robert Knox, 1832-1918.
Source: Ash, Charles F.
Source: Gottwald, Elisabeth Shelton, 1923-
Source: Gottwald, Floyd Dewey, 1922-
Spanish-American War, 1898 -- Maps.
Spanish-American War, 1898 -- Pictorial works.
Spotsylvania Court House, Battle of, Va., 1864.
Tennessee -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Campaigns -- Maps.
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Prisoners and prisons -- Pictorial works.
United States. Army -- Officers -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Portraits.
United States. Army. New York Infantry Regiment, 40th (1861-1865)
United States. Army of the Potomac.
United States. Navy -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865.
Vicksburg (Miss.) -- History -- Siege, 1863 -- Maps.
Virginia -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- Campaigns -- Maps.


Note: The scrapbook inventory has been arbitrarily divided into separate parts with titles reflecting the major subject(s) covered. In some cases, however, images or text pertaining to specific battles or sites may be located on pages not corresponding to strict chronological arrangement. Researchers should search each part of the inventory for their subject of interest.

Part 1: April 1861–March 1862 (1994.80.1–87)

Part 2: The Peninsula Campaign (1994.80.88–142)

Part 3: The Seven Days' Battles (1994.80.143–187)

Part 4: Second Bull Run - the Antietam Campaign (1994.80.188–239)

Part 5: Fredericksburg Campaign - the Gettysburg Campaign (1994.80.240–308)

Part 6: Operations at Charleston, S.C. - the Appomattox Campaign (1994.80.309–353)

Part 7: Confederate Prisons (1994.80.354–392)

Part 8: Western Theater Campaigns (1994.80.393–461)

Part 9: Miscellaneous American Revolution and Civil War (1994.80.462–490)

Part 10: Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection (1994.80.491–525)

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