the author had expected to finish this work early in the current year, but he found himself unable to compress it within the limits originally intended. The important events of the War for the Union were so many; its area was so vast, its duration so considerable; the minor collisions and other incidents were so multifarious, yet often so essential to a clear understanding of its progress and results, that this volume has expanded far beyond his intent, and required for its preparation extra months of assiduous and engrossing labor. Even now, though its contents probably exceed in amount those of any other single volume which the War has called forth, it barely touches some points which may be deemed essential to a clear understanding of the whole matter. Of the War itself, however — that is, of the Military events which made up the physical struggle initiated by Secession — this volume aspires to give a clear though necessarily condensed account, from the opening of the year 1862 down to the final and complete overthrow of the Confederacy. That all his judgments will be concurred in by every reader, the author has no right to expect; but his aim has been to set forth events as they occurred, and as they will appear to clear-sighted observers a century hence; and he rests in the confident belief that those who dissent from his conclusions will nevertheless respect the sincerity with which they are cherished, and the frankness wherewith they are avowed.

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