Archive for the ‘Deadlands 1865’ Category

Deadlands 1865 Map

December 5, 2008

Below is an evolving map of the New Jerusalem area. I believe it’s reasonably faithful to the 1865 time period. You’ll have to download the pdf for the detail – link below the map.


Deadlands 1865 – Detailed Area Map pdf – 3.5Mb

One or two things to note…

1/ Settlements are in blue – it doesn’t include every single one but the majority are included and it gives a pretty good idea which areas have been settled.

2/ Forts are in red – not all of these are military – in fact the majority are stockades. Fort Laramie is the main military presence in the area.

3/ The circles eminating out from New Jerusalem are to give an idea of travel times. Each circle is 50 miles, which I believe is about a day’s travel by horse or stagecoach. Research leads me to believe that if you have a fast horse or can change horses and you’re really pushing it you could possibly double this. A march on foot would be about 25 miles i.e. a ring of the circle every 2 days, and wagon trains travel at about 15 miles a day i.e. a ring of the circle every 3 days. If you’re estimating how far someone can get remember to take into account obstacles such as mountain ranges etc. The circles only indicate travel distance as the crow flies.

4/ The red line is approximately where the Oregon Trail was and the yellow line is the Bozeman Trail. There was also a second route, the Bridger Trail, paralleling the Bozeman Trail south of the Big Horn Mountains. This was a safer route than the Bozeman Trail, which was prone to Indian attack as it ran smack through their prime hunting grounds.

5/ There’s also a general indication of where the Native tribes were at the time. The main action being the Teton/Lakota Sioux pushing west displacing the Crow from the hunting grounds.

Hope this is useful.


Deadlands 1865 – Cast List

December 5, 2008

Here’s the Cast List for our Deadlands game, supplied by Glyn in pdf format

Glyn’s Cast List pdf

New Jerusalem 1865 – Where and when?

November 23, 2008

Following on from our discussions regarding details of the geography around New Jerusalem, I’ve been doing a bit of research (looking for old maps of the area mostly) and have discovered some historical flaws in our thinking.

The map below shows what we were proposing based on the map Glyn provided:

what was proposed

First some background…

Historically speaking, as far as I can ascertain, prior to the late 1850s, settlement of Montana consisted almost entirely of fur trappers and traders along the Missouri river. There were remote cabins/hunting lodges and a few forts at which the trappers congregated. There were no ‘towns’ as such. Some sparse settlement started around 1858/59 with prospectors and settlers moving into the south-west of Montana.

In 1860 about a dozen families formed a settlement in the Deer Lodge area raising cattle and driving them to California and in 1862 a gold strike at Bannack prompted a huge influx of prospectors to that area.

montana settlement

Though south-western Montana ‘boomed’ with prospectors, and settlements sprung up much in the same style that Deadwood would in 1876 some ten years later, south-eastern Montana was to remain home to the Sioux and Crow Indians and a few forts. Prospectors/settlers travelled through the area from 1864 when Jim Bridger cut a trail paralleling the west side of the Big Horn Mountains but were at constant risk of attack until after the defeat of Custer at the Little Big Horn, also in 1876. Only then did expansion begin in the south east.

Hence the towns that are marked on our map come into existence ten to twenty years later than our game is set; Forsyth with the railroad in 1882, Buffalo as a trading centre for Fort McKinney in 1878, Billings in 1877.

There are three ways of resolving this that I can see:

1. From my perspective the least desirable is to ignore it and just say that our wild west developed differently.

2. We could shift the time line until later to fit with the passing of the Indian threat and the arrival of settlers, ranchers and railroads, say to 1885. Coincidentally this also seems to be more the level of development that Glyn has been portraying – ranchers, photographers, brick-makers, clock-maker for the town hall etc. However it does mean that Gettysburg and the Reckoning happened 22 years ago, thus shooting a hole in our backgrounds, and to be honest it doesn’t sit all that comfortably with me, since I liked the idea of the earlier time period and things just starting to get weird.

3. Finally, and though this also involves some re-thinking it is my preferred option, we could move New Jerusalem west to the vicinity of the prospecting settlements, say between Virginia City and the Crow Indian Reservation and pitch it as both prospecting based and earlier in the town’s development e.g. Deadwood at the start of Deadwood the tv-series. This would still allow for some cattle herding (sorta Lonesome Dove style) though things like the railroad and amenities that come later would be out.

new location

Here’s a more detailed 1872 map of the area of south-western Montana (Click for detail) with a possible location for New Jerusalem marked. The scale is about 30 miles from New Jerusalem to Virginia City, which I gather is a couple of days by wagon and maybe half a day by fast horse. Note that at this time Virigina City is nothing major either (i.e. a Deadwood style prospecting town) :

New Jerusalem area map

Any thoughts?