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Preface. The following historical narrative of the events preceding the late rebellion was prepared soon after its outbreak, substantially in the present form. It may be asked, Why, then, was it not published at an earlier period? The answer is, that the publication was delayed to avoid the possible imputation, unjust as this would have been, that any portion of it was intended to embarrass M. Lincoln's administration in the vigorous prosecution of pending hostilities. The author deemed it far better to suffer,temporary injustice than to expose himself to such a charge. He never doubted the successful event of the war, even during its most gloomy periods. Having drawn his first breath soon after the adoption of the Federal Constitution and the Union which it established, and having been an eye-witness of the blessed effects of these, in securing liberty and prosperity at home, and in presenting an example to the oppressed of other lands, he felt an abiding conviction that th