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A Memoir of the Last Year of the War for Independence in the Confederate States of America/Preface to the Second Edition

< A Memoir of the Last Year of the War for Independence in the Confederate States of America


This work was written under an imperative sense of duty, as a matter of historical evidence; and, for reasons which will be understood, I determined from the beginning not to make it a source of personal profit. The first edition was published in Canada at my own expense for gratuitous distribution, and was necessarily limited. Some errors and inaccuracies which unavoidably crept into that edition,—the greater part being mere typographical mistakes,—have been corrected, though these corrections make no material change in any of the statements of facts contained in my narrative; and this edition is published for the benefit of the Ladies' Memorial Associations of Virginia, which have undertaken the work of collecting the remains and marking the graves of the Confederate dead, who fell, on the battle-fields of that State. Let it not be supposed that this appropriation has been made because these Associations are in my own dearly loved State. No! the feelings which have dictated it are not confined to her limits, but embrace the whole South, from the Potomac to the Rio Grande. Our enemies are in the habit of referring scoffingly to Virginia as the "sacred soil;" and in the hearts of all her true sons and daughters, her soil is, and from time immemorial has been held sacred; as well because of the associations connected with her history, as because it is the land of their birth, and with that soil mingle the ashes of their ancestors. This sentiment all true men everywhere must appreciate and honour. But the soil of Virginia is now, and henceforth will be, held sacred in the hearts of all true Southern men and women, because she has been baptized in the blood and has received into her bosom the remains of thousands upon thousands of the truest and noblest sons of the entire Confederacy. It is from this consideration that I have made the appropriation designated.

When the duty assumed by the ladies of Virginia shall have been fulfilled, it will carry consolation to the hearts of the many mourning mothers and widows in the savannahs of the South, as well as upon the far distant plains of Texas, whose hearts will yearn with gratitude towards their noble sisters of the grand old State—grand even in her misfortunes.


Toronto, February 1st, 1867.