had he supposed that it would be equally interesting and profitable to the reader, as compared with diverse statements honestly made and from as many points of view as there were intelligent observers to be found.
Official reports have been carefully examined, and, indeed, form almost wholly the basis of what is presented.
It is desired to avoid exaggeration and adulation, as far as possible, leaving as it were to the reader to put on the gloss, or enthusiastic appreciation, with his own hand, and to present the facts without prejudice to friend or foe. It is for the reader to assign the merit of the men engaged, sometimes under trying difficulties, whether it be in victory, in lack of actual success, or in defeat.
The public can of course more readily appreciate brilliant success than a lack of it, yet oftentimes a less measure of success does not measure a less degree of professional skill or of courage.
The publishers purpose presenting the naval operations during our civil war in three volumes.
The first would naturally comprise events precedent and immediate, and as many of these transpired within the Capes of Virginia
, they and matters of primary interest, and matters relating to blockaders and blockade-runners, will be found in the volume written by Professor Soley
, U. S. Navy.
This volume, which may be regarded as the second, treats of naval operations from Cape Hatteras
to Cape Florida
, along the coasts, and within the sounds, rivers, and harbors of this watershed.
As an actuality, two centres of operations existed : the one at Port Royal
, the depot of supplies and usual headquarters of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron; the other within the sounds, and on the coast of North Carolina