From the moment Union troops crossed the Potomac into Northern Virginia on May 24, 1861, Arlington found itself at the epicenter of the conflict. Newspapers in both the North and South reported on the war on a daily basis. They were most interested in how troops from their hometowns were doing.
As a result readers in 1861 quickly became familiar with landmarks like Arlington Heights, Ball's Cross Roads, and Upton's Hill. The need for maps became a necessity for both journalists and military leaders alike.
These newspaper reports and early maps provide an important perspective of the early military engagements that took place in and around Arlington.