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dating our great struggle are, in good part, preserved. Perhaps the events of no former war were ever so fully and promptly embodied in a single work as are those of our great contest in The Record, which must prove the generous fountain whence all future historians of our country may draw at will. But I am also considerably indebted to Mr. Orville J. Victor's History of the Southern Rebellion, wherein is embodied much valuable, important, and interesting material not contained in The Record. I shall doubtless appear to have made more use of Mr. Edward A. Pollard's Southern History of the War; which I have often cited, and shall continue to cite, for peculiar reasons. Its author is so hot-headed a devotee of Slavery and the Rebellion, that nothing which seems to favor that side is too marvelous for his deglutition; so that, if he were told that a single Confederate had constrained a Union regiment to lay down their arms and surrender, he would swallow it, without scrutiny or doubt. His work, therefore, is utterly untrustworthy as a whole ; yet, in certain aspects, it has great value. He is so headlong and unquestioning a believer in the Confederacy, that he never dreams of concealing or disavowing the fundamental ideas whereon it is based; it is precisely because it stands and strikes for Slavery that he loves and glories in the Confederate cause. Then his statements of the numbers engaged or of the losses on either side are valuable in one aspect: You know that he never overstates the strength nor the losses of the Confederates; while he seems, in some instances, to have had access to official reports and other documents which have not been seen this side of the Potomac. Hence the use I have made, and shall doubtless continue to make, of his work. But I trust that it has been further serviceable to me, in putting me on my guard against those monstrous exaggerations of the numbers opposed to them with which weak, incompetent, and worsted commanders habitually excuse, or seek to cover up, their failures, defeats, and losses.
I have not found, and do not expect to find, room for biographic accounts of the generals and other commanders who figure in our great struggle, whether those who have honored and blessed or those who have betrayed and shamed their country. To have admitted these would have been to expand my work inevitably beyond the prescribed limits. By nature little inclined to man-worship, and valuing individuals only as the promoters of measures, the exponents of ideas, I have dealt with personal careers only when they clearly exhibited some phase of our National character, elucidated the state of contemporary opinion, or palpably and powerfully modified our National destinies. Thomas Jefferson, Eli Whitney, Andrew Jackson, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, Benjamin Lundy, Elijah P. Lovejoy, John Brown-men differing most widely in intellectual caliber as well as in aspirations, instincts, convictions, and purposes—may fairly be regarded as, in their several spheres, representative Americans, each of whom in some sense contributed to lay the train which we have seen fired by the Secessionists of our day with so magnificent a pyrotechnic display, so majestic a resulting conflagration; and of these, accordingly, some notion may be acquired from the following pages; while, of our generals and commodores, the miniature Portraits contained in these volumes, and the record of their respective achievements, are all that I can give. So many battles, sieges, marches, campaigns, etc., remain to be narrated, that—ample as this work would seem to be, and capacious as are its pages—a paked record of the remaining events of the war, especially should it be protracted
for a full year more, will test to the utmost my power of condensation to conclude the work in another volume of the generous amplitude of this.
My subject naturally divides itself into two parts: I. How we got into the War for the Union ; and II. How we get out of it. I have respected this division in my cast of the present work, and submit this volume as a clear elucidation of the former of these problems, hoping to be at least equally satisfactory in my treatment of the latter.
It is the task of the historian to eliminate from the million facts that seemed important in their day and sphere respectively, the two or three thousand that have an abiding and general interest, presenting these in their due proportions, and with their proper relative emphasis. Any success in this task must, of course, be comparative and approximate; and no historical work ever was or will be written whereof a well-informed and competent critic might not forcibly say, 'Why was this fact stated and that omitted ? Why give a page to this occurrence, and ignore that, which was of at least equal consequence? Why praise the achievement of A, yet pass over that of B, which was equally meritorious and importants' But, especially in dealing with events so fresh and recent as those of our great convulsion, must the historian expose himself to such strictures. Time, with its unerring perspective, reduces every incident to its true proportions; so that we are no longer liable to misconceptions and apprehensions which were once natural and all but universal. We know, beyond question, that Braddock's defeat and death before Fort Du Quesne had not the importance which they seemed to wear in the eyes of those who heard of them within the month after their occurrence; that Bunker Hill, though tactically a defeat, was practically a triumph to the arms of our Revolutionary fathers; that the return of Bonaparte from Elba exerted but little influence over the destinies of Europe, and that little of questionable beneficence; and that “fillibusterism,' so called, since its first brilliant achievement in wresting Texas from Mexico and annexing her to this country, though attempting much, has accomplished very little, toward the diffusion either of Freedom or Slavery. And so, much that ng
seems of momentous consequence will doubtless have shrunk, a century hence, to very moderate dimensions, or perhaps been forgotten altogether.
The volume which is to conclude this work cannot, of course, appear till soıne time after the close of the contest; and I hope to be able to bestow upon it at least double the time that I was at liberty to devote to this. I shall labor constantly to guard against Mr. Pollard's chief error—that of supposing that all the heroism, devotedness, humanity, chivalry, evinced in the contest, were displayed on one side; all the cowardice, ferocity, cruelty, rapacity, and general depravity, on the other. I believe it to be the truth, and as such I shall endeavor to show, that, while this war has been signalized by some deeds disgraceful to human nature, the general behavior of the combatants on either side has been calculated to do honor even to the men who, though fearfully misguided, are still our countrymen, and to exalt the prestige of the American name.
That the issue of this terrible contest may be such as God, in His inscrutable wisdom, shall deem most directly conducive to the progress of our race in knowledge, virtue, liberty, and consequent happiness, is not more the fervent aspiration, than it is the consoling and steadfast faith, of
H. G. NEW YORK, April 10, 1864.
INDEX BY CHAPTERS.
N. C.-English of Ind.-A. H. Stepbens-Gov. Reed-
Judge Daniel - Judge Campbell - Judge Catron-
XIX. Our Foreign Policy-Monroe-Cuba. 264
Trenty with France-Washington Jefferson-The
The Ostend Manifesto. William Walker and the
V. The Convention of 1787 and the Fed.
Persistent Hostility of Congress to Slavery Extension
ginia, Missouri, Tennessee, Kentucky, Maryland and
XXIII. The Press and People of the North
deprecate Civil War...........351
Buchanan and Black condemn 'coercion-
the Peace Conference at Wash-
concurs-Failure to compromise-Why.
Organization of the Confederacy-Jefferson Da-
The two Cabinets-Attempts to Negotiate by
the promotion of National Unity.
Healtation--Futile Negotiations Attempt to
Convention called-State organization effected
Ft. Monroe--Great Bethel-Alexandria occu-
F. P. Blair-Consequences of our failure.
Organization of the House-Mr. Lincoln's first
The President's acts approved- Adjournment.
State preparations to aid the Rebellion-Flight
mand-Battle of Belmont.
The Privateer Savannah-The Petrel-Fort
Hawes finally declared Governor.
Scott & failure-Gen. McClellan called to
Hutchinsons expelled-Whittier's Lyric.
XXIX. The Nation called to arms—and
land-Her traitorous Legislature,
Shameful surrender of the Norfolk Navy Yard-
a Union force at St. Louis-Kentucky.
Davis's first Message--Relative strength of the
PRESIDENT AND CABINET.
CONFEDERATE CHIEFTAINS. 24. JEFFERSON Davis
336 | 29. John B. FLOYD . 25. ALEXANDER H. STEPHENS
30. R. BARNWELL RHETT 26. Judah P. BENJAMIN
31. James M. Mason 27. Robert ToomBS .
32. John SLIDELL 28. William L. YANCEY.
33. ISHAM G. HARRIS 34. HENRY A. WISE
UNION GENERALS. 35. Lieut.-Gen. WINFIELD SCOTT 448 41. Maj. Gen. Don Carlos BUELL . 448 36. Maj. Gen. John E. Wool
AMBROSE E. BURNSIDE
BENJAMIN F. BUTLER
DAVID HUNTER. 40.
JOHN C. FREMONT 46. Brig.-Gen. ROBERT ANDERSON