Foreword to volume II
It is the central act in the great American war drama, and the one of highest suspense, that is presented by Volume II of the Photographic history.
Volume III will be found to cover the period between the first move against Lee
(May, 1864), and Appomattox
— a series of battles bitterly contested, but properly described in the volume-title as “decisive,” since it had then become only a question of time, with skill and bravery so conspicuous on either side, before the weight of Northern resources and organization would inevitably crush the impoverished Confederacy.
But prior to the unifying under Grant
of the Federal
military force in May, 1864, and subsequent to McClellan's Peninsula Campaign (with which Volume I closes), the actions form a veritable “tug-of-war,” a giant struggle of veteran armies, the result of which no contemporary observer could determine.
This is the period covered by the present volume — the combats of matched armies, while Federal and Confederate hoped alike, each praying for the triumph of the cause to which he had pledged his soul and body.
Each of the remaining seven volumes of the Photographic history — Iv to X — deals with a special side of the conflict: cavalry, soldier life, the navy, forts and artillery, prisons and hospitals, with other important phases being separately treated.