Can Change the World Again.
A CRITICAL HISTORY OF THE LATE AMERICAN WAR,
(War of the Confederacy Rebellion of 1861-1865)
REV. ASA MAHAN, D. D. LL.D.
SCIENCE, like its divine Author, is "no respecter of persons." This is equally true of impartial criticism, and especially so when such criticism pertains to the deeds and character of men of world notoriety,men who consent to assume the conduct of enterprises and interests upon the issues of which the destiny of nations depends. In assuming such responsibilities, such men invite, and even challenge, such criticism, and will receive it from every "wise and understanding people." In the preparation of the following work, it has been a fixed aim of the author, not only to furnish needful information to his countrymen, but to exemplify the ideal represented by the words impartial historic criticism. He lays no claim to infallibility in the statement of facts, or in his deductions from the same; and will gladly confess, and promptly correct, any errors of any kind into which partial or impartial criticism may prove him to have fallen. In his criticism of the deeds and character of our Generals, of their campaigns and the conduct of the war, he claims to have known no man as a member of this or that political party, but to have contemplated and presented all in common from one exclusive standpoint, the military. If any of my countrymen regard any military commander as faultless, or void of merit, because he belongs to this or that political party, this history was not written for them, but for American citizenscitizens who would know that they are Americans who have occupied high places of trust and power, and under whose conduct oceans of American blood and treasure have been poured out. Criticism, when honest especially, is an important discipline of thought. Historic criticism not only furnishes the means of such discipline, but enables even those who may differ from an author in his statements and deductions better to understand the subject treated of than were otherwise possible. All my countrymen who would understand this war as really conducted, will, it is believed, read this treatise with interest and profit. Nor was the work prepared for Americans alone, but for all friends of truth, of every clime, into whose hands this treatise may fallfriends of truth who take an interest in what concerns this great nation, and who would understand events which have for all future time shaped its destiny. With these suggestions, the work before us is commended to the consideration of my countrymen especially.