War Letters, 1862-1865, of John Chipman Gray ... and John Codman Ropes ... with Portraits

War Letters, 1862-1865, of John Chipman Gray ... and John Codman Ropes ... with Portraits

War Letters, 1862-1865, of John Chipman Gray ... and John Codman Ropes ... with Portraits

War Letters, 1862-1865, of John Chipman Gray ... and John Codman Ropes ... with Portraits

Excerpt

In later life the writers of the letters in this volume gained distinction in different yet related fields. Mr. Gray, resigning in 1865 a commission as Judge Advocate, resumed the practice of law in Boston, was lecturer in the Harvard Law School for five years after 1869, and from 1875 to 1915 held two of the more important professorships in that school -- the Story and the Royall. He won an unequalled reputation in his special branch of law and the same qualities of mind which placed him in that eminence were applied to the matters coming before him as a soldier.

John Codman Ropes, also trained in the law, early showed a decided taste for the military problems of the Civil War and he became the historian of the war. His minute care in investigation and his broad and balanced judgment on controversial matters gave to his volumes an authority unquestioned at the time and not affected by the wealth of material that has since become accessible. Unfortunately he did not live to complete the work. His last volume, published in 1898, covered the campaigns of 1862, and he left no notes for a continuation. Colonel William Roscoe Livermore took up the task and he too rested after bringing it to the end of another year of the war.

It is one thing to write of a war while it is being waged; it is another matter to pass upon it in after years. The letters now published present an immediate picture of certain phases of the contest, but drawn by specially competent hands, making it of value to-day. With not a little which leaves the impression of haste there remains a record cast in the true historical spirit and offering the best material for a study of individual characters. When so well done that makes readable history.

WORTHINGTON CHAUNCEY FORD

BOSTON, 1927

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