This work is the result of contributions by many Southern men to the literature of our country that treats of the eventful years in which occurred the momentous struggle called by Mr. A. H. Stephens
“the war between the States.”
These contributions were made on a well-considered plan, to be wrought out by able writers of unquestionable Confederate record who were thoroughly united in general sentiment and whose generous labors upon separate topics would, when combined, constitute a library of Confederate military history and biography.
According to the great principle in our government that One may result from and be composed of Many — the doctrine of E pluribus unum
--it was considered that intelligent men from all parts of the South
would so write upon the subjects committed to them as to produce a harmonious work which would truly portray the times and issues of the Confederacy
and by illustration in various forms describe the soldiery which fought its battles.
Upon this plan two volumes — the first and the last-comprise such subjects as the justification of the Southern States
in seceding from the Union
and the honorable conduct of the war by the Confederate States
government; the history of the actions and concessions of the South
in the formation of the Union
and its policy in securing the existing magnificent territorial dominion of the United States
; the civil history of the Confederate States
, supplemented with sketches of the President
, cabinet officers
and other officials of the government; Confederate naval history; the morale of the armies; the South
since the war, and a connected outline of events from the beginning of the struggle to its close.
The two volumes containing these general subjects are sustained by the other volumes of Confederate military history of the States of the South
involved in the war. Each State being treated in separate history permits of details concerning its peculiar story, its own devotion, its heroes and its battlefields.
The authors of the State
histories, like those of the volumes of general topics, are men of unchallenged devotion to the Confederate
cause and of recognized fitness to perform the task assigned them.
It is just to say that this work has been done in hours taken from busy professional life, and it should be further commemorated that devotion to the South
and its heroic memories has been their chief incentive.