Page:A Memoir of the Last Year of the War for Independence in the Confederate States of America.djvu/13

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
ix
PREFACE

pretence of "saving the life of the nation, and upholding the old flag," they have surrendered their own liberties into the hands of the worst of all tyrants, a body of senseless fanatics.

When the passions and infatuations of the day shall have been dissipated by time, and all the results of the late war shall have passed in irrevocable history, this future chronicler of that history will have a most important duty to perform, and posterity, while poring over its pages, will be lost in wonder at the follies and crimes committed in this generation.

My narrative is now given to the public, and the sole merit I claim for it is that of truthfulness. In writing it, I have received material aid from an accurate diary kept by Lieutenant William W. Old, aide to Major General Edward Johnson, who was with me during the campaign in Maryland and the Shenandoah Valley until the 12th of August, 1864, and the copious notes of Captain J. Kotchkiss, who acted as Topographical Engineer for the 2nd Corps and the Army of the Valley District, and recorded the events of each day, from the opening of the campaign on the Rapidan in May, 1864, until the affair at Waynesboro' in March, 1865.

J. A. EARLY.

November, 1866.