It is simple truth to say that such over-estimates seem to have been quite common on both sides.
I shall be personally obliged to any one, no matter on what side he served, who will furnish me with trustworthy data for the correction of any misstatement embodied in this work.
If such correction shall dictate a revision of any harsh judgment on friend or foe, it will be received and conformed to with profound gratitude.
My convictions touching the origin, incitements, and character, of the War
from which we have so happily emerged, are very positive, being the fruits of many years' almost exclusive devotion to National affairs; but my judgments as to occurrences and persons are held subject to modification upon further and clearer presentments of facts.
It is my purpose to revise and correct the following pages from day to day as new light shall be afforded; and I ask those who may feel aggrieved by any statement I shall herein have given to the public, to favor me with the proofs of its inaccuracy.
Unwilling to be drawn into controversy, I am most anxious to render exact justice to each and all.
The subject of Reconstruction
(or Restoration) is not within the purview of this work, and I have taken pains to avoid it so far as possible.
The time is not yet for treating it exhaustively, or even historically; its importance, as well as its immaturity, demand for its treatment thoughtful hesitation as well as fullness of knowledge.
Should I be living when the work is at length complete, I may submit a survey of its nature.
progress, and results: meantime, I will only avow my undoubting faith that the same Divine Benignity which has guided our country through perils more palpable if not more formidable, will pilot her safely, even though slowly, through those which now yawn before her, land bring her at last into the haven of perfect Peace, genuine Fraternity, and everlasting Union--a Peace grounded on reciprocal esteem; a Fraternity based on sincere, fervent love of our common country; and a Union cemented by hearty and general recognition of the truth, that the only abiding security for the cherished rights of any is to be found in a full and hearty recognition of Human Brotherhood as well as State sisterhood — in the establishment and assured maintenance of All Rights for All.