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October 28 , 2008

Military Reminiscences of the Civil War (Complete)


My aim in this book has been to reproduce my own experience in our Civil War in such a way as to help the reader understand just how the duties and the problems of that great conflict presented themselves successively to one man who had an active part in it from the beginning to the end. In my military service I was so conscious of the benefit it was to me to get the personal view of men who had served in our own or Other wars, as distinguished from the general or formal history, that I formed the purpose, soon after peace was restored, to write such a narrative of my own army life. My relations to many prominent officers and civilians were such as to give opportunities for intimate knowledge of their personal qualities as well as their public conduct. It has seemed to me that it might be useful to share with Others what I thus learned, and to throw what light I could upon the events and the men of that time. As I have written historical accounts of some campaigns separately, it may be proper to say that I have in this book avoided repetition, and have tried to make the personal narrative supplement and lend new interest to the more formal story. Some of the earlier chapters appeared in an abridged form in "Battles and Leaders of the Civil War," and the closing chapter was read before the Ohio Commandery of the Loyal Legion. By arrangements courteously made by the Century Company and the Commandery, these chapters, partly re-written, are here found in their proper connection. Though my private memoranda are full enough to give me reasonable confidence in the accuracy of these reminiscences, I have made it a duty to test my memory by constant reference to the original contemporaneous material so abundantly preserved in the government publication of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. Where the series of these records is not given, my references are to the First Series, with the abbreviation O. R., and I have preferred to adhere to the official designation of the volumes in parts, as each volume then includes the documents of a single campaign
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