For more than three years I have followed the flag of our country in the East and in the West and in the South,—on the ocean, on the land, and on the great rivers. A year ago I gave in a volume entitled "My Days and Nights on the Battle-Field" a description of the Battle of Bull Run, and other battles in Kentucky, Tennessee, and on the Mississippi.
It has been my privilege to witness nearly all the great battles fought by the Army of the Potomac,—Antietam, Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, at the Wilderness, Spottsylvania, the North Anna, Coal Harbor and at Petersburg. Letters have been received from those who are strangers to me as well as from friends, expressing a desire that I should give a connected account, not only of the operations of that army, from its organization, but of other armies; also of the glorious achievements of the navy in this great struggle of our country for national existence. The present volume, therefore, will be the second of the contemplated series.
During the late campaign in Virginia, many facts and incidents were obtained which give an insight into the operations of the armies of the South, not before known. Time will undoubtedly reveal other important facts, which will be made use of in the future. It will be my endeavor to sift from the immense amount of material already accumulated a concise and trustworthy account, that we may know how our patriot brothers have fought to save the country and to secure to all who may live after them the blessings of a free government.