The following record of events, so far as they were connected with the personal experiences of the writer, does not claim completeness (even as to that experience) for, begun (as it is) on the 21st of July 1865, much that is now forgotten is necessarily omitted, and there are doubtless some inaccuracies as to dates, etc. But in reference to direct operations and positive historical statements there will be, it is confidently believed, few grounds for doubt in the mind of any one who may hereafter read this record. Certain it is that the aim and conscientious desire of the writer is to present a simple and truthful narrative of facts, which shall display “malice toward none, charity toward all” (Lincoln's last message).
No one single cause can satisfactorily account for the most determined, costly, exhaustive, and desolating war of modern times. It is conceded on all sides that of the three million of men called into the field by the Federal government at least five hundred thousand perished whilst the South, which had altogether perhaps one million of troops must have lost 250,000 at least by death. The war cost the Federal government about three billion dollars and the South about two billion dollars,1 one million of horses and mules in the Federal service and probably three hundred thousand by the South whilst the devastation of the Southern States by the invading armies is almost without parallel. General Sheridan, U.S.A., destroyed in a single campaign (September 1864) in the Valley of Virginia four hundred mills and two thousand large barns containing an immense supply of flour and wheat.2
Every speaker and every writer both north and south of “Mason's and Dixon's Line” has his own theory of the war! Excuse me, then, generous