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Pored according to Act of Congress, in the year 1865,
BY CHARLES B..RICHARDSON.
In the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of
PRESS OF GEO. C. RAND & AVERY.
THIS history of SHERMAN's army is written in the single interest of truth.
Using the authentic sources of information at our command, we have endeavored to render full and exact justice to all, and to perpetuate no errors that, under the circumstances, it was possible to avoid.
It is hoped that the disadvantages usually attending the publication of a biography during thic lifetime of its subject, are to some extent neutralized, in the present instance, by the co-operation in our task of many of those who themselves made the history we propose to recount.
Nevertheless, and in spite of the most friendly offers of material assistance from Lieutenant-General GRANT and Major-General SHERMAN; from the army commanders, THOMAS, HOWARD, SLOCUM, and SCHOFIELD; from Major-Generals LoGAN, BLAIR, and JEFFERSON C. DAVIS; brevet Major-General KILPATRICK, brevet Brigadier-General HICKENLOOPER, of the staff of the lamented MCPHERSON, and from very many other officers whose names we cannot now give at length, several of whom generously tendered free access to their reports, journals, and private letter-books; the editors cannot but feel that, on many points of interest, their work is lacking in those details essential to historical completeness, which time alone can supply.
The events treated are, in some instances, perhaps too recent for enlightened and impartial criticism; in others, respect for the living or for the honored dead, whose memories are yet green, may have imposed reticence or silence upon the lips of those on whose evidence depends our knowledge of the truth; in still others, it will probably require the careful collection and severe analysis, in the future, of minute fragments of evidence, to-day widely scattered, neglected, or inaccessible, in order to refute errors now prevalent, but unsuspected.
The editors believe, however, that laboring with a sincere and constant desire to attain correctness, they have, at least, succeeded in establishing the essential outlines which the criticism and controversy, hostile as well as friendly, they cannot hope to escape, and the new testimony that will thereby be elicited, will enable them or their more favored successors to perfect and finish.