Page:The Cambridge History of American Literature, v3.djvu/200

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Later Historians

partiality was observed in The Story of the Civil War by John Codman Ropes (1836-99), which came to an end after two volumes had been published (1894 and 1898). To many people Ropes's volumes seemed to promise the best military history of the war we were likely to have.

A large number of books of personal experience appeared from the hands of men who had taken a prominent part in the war, and some of them have merit as literature. The most notable in content and style was Ulysses Simpson Grant's Personal Memoirs (2 vols., 1885, 1886). It was written in simple and direct language and dealt with things in which the humblest citizens could feel interest. Other important books of similar nature were: William Tecumseh Sherman's Memoirs (2 vols., 1875); Philip Henry Sheridan's Personal Memoirs (2 vols., 1888); George Brinton McClellan's My Own Story (1887); and Charles Anderson Dana's Recollections of the Civil War (1898).

Apart from all other works on the Civil War is that which appeared with the title Abraham Lincoln, a History (10 vols., 1890), by John George Nicolay and John Hay, both of whom had been private secretaries of the war president. In completeness of treatment, clearness of statement, and fair discussion of the men and problems that Lincoln encountered, it is one of the best historical works of the generation in which it was written. Of the joint authors Nicolay (1832-1901) was an historian of unusual breadth of view and industry while Hay[1] (1838-1905) was noted for his clear and natural style.

The Southern histories of the war pass through the two stages just described in the Northern histories. Immediately after the conflict ended there were published such books as Edward Albert Pollard's The Lost Cause (1866) and Alexander Hamilton Stephens's Constitutional View of the Late War be tween the States (2 vols., 1868-70), both warmly Southern. So much belated that it might have been less apologetic was Jefferson Davis's Rise and Fall of the Confederate Government (2 vols., 1881). It was, however, what might have been expected under the circumstances, an official statement of the Southern side of the question. No fair and ample Southern history of the war has been published.

  1. See also Book III, Chaps, X and XI.