Returning to duty in March 1862, Hotchkiss sought and gained assignment as a topographical engineer on the staff of Stonewall Jackson. On March 26, Jackson gave Hotchkiss his famous order: "I want you to make me a map of the Valley, from Harpers Ferry to Lexington, showing all the points of offense and defence in those places." Hotchkiss did just that, preparing an accurate, detailed, and easily understandable map for Jackson's use. Using pencils of different colors, he took great pains to make the map clear and easy to grasp, and he frequently briefed Jackson on aspects of terrain.
Hotchkiss continued his duties as a topographical engineer with the Second Corps under its subsequent commanders, Richard S. Ewell and Jubal A. Early. He accompanied the Army of Northern Virginia in its invasion of his wife's native state, and he was with Early when the Army of the Valley marched to the outskirts of Washington, D.C., in 1864. That autumn, information Hotchkiss provided was a key factor in the Confederates' initial success at the Battle of Cedar Creek. The following spring, Hotchkiss continued to serve in the upper Shenandoah Valley area with generals Thomas L. Rosser and Lunsford Lomax. Upon learning of Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865, Hotchkiss conferred with Confederate secretary of war John C. Breckinridge before disbanding his small topographical detachment and returning to his home, where he gave his parole to Union forces on May 1, 1865.
November 30, 1828 - Jedediah Hotchkiss is born in Windsor, New York.
1846 - Jedediah Hotchkiss graduates from the Windsor Academy in Windsor, New York, after which he and several friends take a walking tour of Lyken's Valley in Pennsylvania. He will teach school there and later move to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.
December 1853 - Jedediah Hotchkiss marries Sara Ann Comfort of Lanesboro, Pennsylvania. Hotchkiss is principal of the school he founded, Moss Creek School, in the Shenandoah Valley.
1859 - Jedediah Hotchkiss and his wife move to a farm near Churchville, Virginia, where, together with his brother Nelson Hotchkiss, they open Loch Willow Academy.
Autumn 1861 - Jedediah Hotchkiss suffers from typhoid fever and takes an extended sick leave from the Confederate army.
March–April 1862 - Jedediah Hotchkiss performs invaluable terrain reconnaissance duties for Confederate general Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson during the Shenandoah Valley Campaign.
May 2, 1863 - Jedediah Hotchkiss is not far from Confederate general Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson when he is accidentally shot and mortally wounded by Confederate soldiers during the Battle of Chancellorsville. Hotchkiss's friend and tent-mate, James Keith Boswell, is killed by the same volley.
October 19, 1864 - Jedediah Hotchkiss provides topographical information that is key to Confederate success at the Battle of Cedar Creek.
May 1, 1865 - Jedediah Hotchkiss is paroled by Union forces.
January 17, 1899 - Jedediah Hotchkiss dies in Staunton, Virginia.
- Civil War, American (1861–1865)
Cite This Entry
- APA Citation:
Woodworth, S. E. Jedediah Hotchkiss (1828–1899). (2014, March 23). In Encyclopedia Virginia. Retrieved from http://www.EncyclopediaVirginia.org/Hotchkiss_Jedediah_1828-1899.
- MLA Citation:
Woodworth, Steven E. "Jedediah Hotchkiss (1828–1899)." Encyclopedia Virginia. Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, 23 Mar. 2014. Web. READ_DATE.
First published: November 24, 2009 | Last modified: March 23, 2014
Contributed by Steven E. Woodworth, a professor at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, Texas.