GENERAL W. T. SHERMAN
HIS COMRADES IN ARMS,
VOLUNTEERS AND REGULARS.
Nearly ten years have passed since the close of the civil war in America, and yet no satisfactory history thereof is accessible to the public; nor should any be attempted until the Government has published, and placed within the reach of students, the abundant materials that are buried in the War Department at Washington. These are in process of compilation; but, at the rate of progress for the past ten years, it is probable that a new century will come before they are published and circulated, with full indexes to enable the historian to make a judicious selection of materials.
What is now offered is not designed as a history of the war, or even as a complete account of all the incidents in which the writer bore a part, but merely his recollection of events, corrected by a reference to his own memoranda, which may assist the future historian when he comes to describe the whole, and account for the motives and reasons which influenced some of the actors in the grand drama of war.
I trust a perusal of these pages will prove interesting to the survivors, who have manifested so often their intense love of the “cause” which moved a nation to vindicate its own authority; and, equally so, to the rising generation, who therefrom may learn that a country and government such as ours are worth fighting for, and dying for, if need be.
If successful in this, I shall feel amply repaid for departing from the usage of military men, who seldom attempt to publish their own deeds, but rest content with simply contributing by their acts to the honor and glory of their country.
St. Louis, Missouri, January 21, 1875.
Another ten years have passed since I ventured to publish my Memoirs, and, being once more at leisure, I have revised them in the light of the many criticisms public and private.
My habit has been to note in pencil the suggestions of critics, and to examine the substance of their differences; for critics must differ from the author, to manifest their superiority.
Where I have found material error I have corrected; and I have added two chapters, one at the beginning, another at the end, both of the most general character, and an appendix.
I wish my friends and enemies to understand that I disclaim the character of historian, but assume to be a witness on the stand before the great tribunal of history, to assist some future Napier, Alison, or Hume to comprehend the feelings and thoughts of the actors in the grand conflicts of the recent past, and thereby to lessen his labors in the compilation necessary for the future benefit of mankind.