L. E. Chittenden, William Drysdale, G. A. Forsyth, John Habberton, William J. Henderson, Lucy C. Lillie, Howard Patterson, Robert Shackleton
Excerpt: EVERY time I see the citizen soldiers of the National Guard march down the avenue I have a choking sensation in my throat, and sometimes tears come to my eyes. A young man who stood beside me one day when I could not help making an exhibition of myself, said, “What’s the matter with you?” And my answer was, “They make me think of the men I saw going to the front in war-times.” Then the young man laughed, and said, “What can you remember of the war?”
TO the younger readers of the twentieth century the great war of 1861-65, fought to maintain the authority of the national government and to preserve the union of the States, may sometimes seem remote and impersonal. The passage of time has healed the bitterness and animosity which an older generation can remember, and if proof were needed of the real union of our country it was shown when South and North marched side by side under the old flag in the war with Spain. It is well that the passions of war should be laid aside, but the examples of heroism on both sides and the lessons of patriotism are something always to be kept in mind. Grant and Lee, Sherman, Sheridan, “Stonewall” Jackson—figures like these are not to be forgotten—and personal views of some of these leaders will be found in this book.
Of the great campaigns of those terrible four years, when vast armies marched and countermarched and wrestled in battles of giants, there are many accounts, and yet the necessarily limited space allotted in short histories may well be supplemented by narratives alive with human interest. That is the purpose of this book. Mr. Henderson’s recollections, which serve as a prologue, will take the boy of to-day back to these eventful years and make him realize what it was to live in the days when North and South were summoning their sons to arms. Mr. Shackleton’s dramatic story is the first of some imaginative tales of the war which aim to preserve the atmosphere of those thrilling days in the guise of fiction. The stories which follow—“The Blockade Runner” and “Two Days with Mosby,” are believed to be essentially relations of actual experiences; and the balance of the book, including the tales of Lincoln, Worden and the Monitor, Sheridan’s Ride, and Lee’s surrender, is vivid, first-hand history. One feature of this book is that the latter stories are told by those who took an actual part. This is a book of adventure and of heroic deeds, which are not only of absorbing interest, but they also bring a closer realization of the one country which was welded together in the furnace of the Civil War.
More extended versions of the narratives by L. E. Chittenden and General G. A. Forsyth are presented in the former’s Recollections of Lincoln and the latter’s Thrilling Days of Army Life.