Upon urgent and repeated request from the publishers, the author consented to lay aside temporarily a larger and more important literary task, to write for them this initial volume of the Campaigns of the civil War.
Personal observation and long previous investigation had furnished him a great variety of new material for the work; and this was opportunely supplemented by the recent publication of the Official War Records
for 1861, both Union and Confederate, opening to comparison and use an immense mass of historical data, and furnishing the definite means of verifying or correcting the statements of previous writers.
Under these advantages the author has written the present volume, basing his work on materials of unquestioned authenticity-books, documents, and manuscripts-and, indeed, for the greater part, on official public records.
His effort has been a conscientious and painstaking one, making historical accuracy his constant aim. If, unfortunately, he has committed any errors, he hopes they may prove only
such as from the meagreness or conflicting nature of the evidence any one might fall into.
He would gladly have appended to his pages full references and citations, but want of space absolutely forbade.
So many kind friends have encouraged and aided him, that he finds it impossible to acknowledge their services in detail, and therefore takes this occasion to return to one and all his sincere thanks.
Government officials, especially, of all grades, have with uniform courtesy afforded him every facility in their power.
Without free access to the various departments and archives-and, above all, to the vast historical treasures of the Library of Congress — it would have been exceedingly difficult to gather and verify the numerous facts, quotations, names, and dates, which his narrative required.