In presenting to the public The annals of the War
, the publishers do not assume to offer only that which is thoroughly reliable as chapters in the history of the most thrilling and bloody drama of the century, but it is assumed that in no way can the truth of history be so nearly ascertained as by the statements of the leading actors themselves.
The series of contributions contained in this volume were furnished as special articles for The Philadelphia weekly times
, with the view of correcting many of the grave errors of the hastily compiled, heedlessly imperfect, and strongly partisan histories which appeared during and soon after the close of the war.
The fierce passions which attend civil war are unequaled in any conflicts between separate peoples, and the advanced intelligence, the community of interest, the common pride of past achievements, and the long maintained brotherhood through generations, all intensified the bitterness of our internecine strife.
A war so gigantic, enduring for four long years, so costly in blood and treasure, and reaching almost every household with its sore bereavements, could not but inflame the bitterest passions and resentments, obliterate recollections of virtue in each other's foes, and direct all the agencies of power to color the causes and events of the war to harmonize with the prejudices which ruled North and South.
It was to correct as far as possible the pages of the future history of the war of the late rebellion, that the contributions herein given were solicited, and they have all been