American Campaigns - Vol. 1

American Campaigns - Vol. 1

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American Campaigns - Vol. 1

American Campaigns - Vol. 1

Read FREE!

Excerpt

These volumes represent a part of my three years' work as lecturer in military history at the Army Service Schools at Fort Leavenworth. It is with a great deal of reluctance that I have consented to let the lectures be printed in their present form, for no one can know better than I how far they fall short of being a finished work. No doubt, however, I should not feel entirely satisfied with them if I had spent twenty years, instead of only a part of three, upon them.

No man can feel that he has thoroughly mastered any campaign or battle, or is fully equipped to lecture upon it, until he has studied everything that has been written upon it. Hence I do not feel that I have mastered a single campaign or battle discussed in this series, because I have not had time to study the tenth of what has been written upon any one of them. The Rebellion Records have virtually been a closed book for me; I have hardly dared to open them, lest I might yield to the temptation to read on, from one report to another, far beyond the time I have had to spare. Fortunately, however, this great mine of fact--and fiction--has been industriously worked, and its contents have been carefully sifted and reduced, by such skilful craftsmen as Mr. John Codman Ropes, General E. P. Alexander, and dozens of others, who have given many years of their lives to the task; and the product of their expert labor has been placed at the disposal of students having less time to spare, like myself.

There is so much, however, I could do to improve the lectures and make them more valuable and acceptable, that I regret I cannot put one more years work upon them before sending them forth; but they cannot wait longer, for some work of this kind is sadly needed by the students at the Service Schools in connection with their course in military history. These volumes are intended to occupy a space not filled by any other single work, and, until something better shall be provided, they must answer the purpose.

In preparing the lectures for publication I have been assisted directly or indirectly by many persons without whose aid I should never have succeeded at all. It would be impossible even to name them all. To no one else do I feel so much indebted as to Captain Edwin T. Cole, 6th Infantry, Senior . . .

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