E concluded the former volume with the narrative of the first year of the war, having brought down our review of the campaigns which were being prosecuted in the East and West to within a few days of the anniversary of the bombardment of Fort Sumter
Those campaigns were but the prelude to the far more extensive operations and sanguinary conflicts which we are about to relate.
We shall begin by speaking of the army of the Potomac, of which we have described the slow formation during the autumn
of 1861, and of its first movements in the spring of 1862.
Whilst the armies of the West
have already overrun several States and fought great battles, the former has not yet had an opportunity to seek revenge from the conquerors of Bull Run
In the last chapters of the preceding volume the reader has seen the difficulties of every kind which embarrassed its movements, prevented it from taking the field at an earlier day, and jeopardized the success of the plan of operations so happily conceived by its chief.
Nevertheless, after the unlooked — for evacuation of Manassas
by the Confederates
, after the combats which kept in the valley of Virginia
troops that would have been more useful elsewhere, after Mr. Lincoln
's interference in reducing his force to strengthen the