« PreviousContinue »
CONTINUED FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE YEAR 1864 TO THE END OF THE WAR
NEW YORK :
Entered, according to Act of Congress, in the year One Thousand Eight Hundred and Sixty-two,
By ROBERT TOMES,
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York,
When the first numbers of this work were issued, nothing appeared more certain than that the civil war, the history of which it was intended faithfully to record, would be of short duration, and that a single volume would be amply sufficient to comprise all that a faithful detail of events would require. A few of the more far-sighted persons in the community thought the contest might last twelve or eighteen months, but none were bold enough to hazard the conjecture that it would be prolonged through four eventful years. The distinguished Secretary of State, Mr. Seward, confidently promised the extinction of the rebellion in sixty days. But as month after month and year after year elapsed, and the scene of warlike operations extended over a constantly widening area, with an ever-increasing earnestness in the two sections of the country arrayed against each other, it became apparent that not one volume, nor even two, would suffice for a complete history of the war. Happily, the end came at last, and though not altogether unexpected by those who knew the actual exhaustion of the South, with a suddenness almost as startling--so accustomed had the public mind become to a state of war—as the first burst of hostilities in the bombardment of Fort Sumter. When the “makers of history” ceased, the writers of it began to see a termination of their labors, and only then could the publishers set limits to the extent of the work.
It is hoped, now that the work is complete, the reading public will find that the intention of making it a faithful and impartial history has been in a great measure accomplished. That it is not free from some of the defects inseparable from all contemporary history is not claimed for it. Many years must elapse, and perhaps all the participants in the great National struggle will have passed from the scene before a perfect history of the great civil war will be