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THE facts of the War of the Confederates in America have been at the mercy of many temporary agents; they have been either confounded with sensational rumours, or discoloured by violent prejudices: in this condition they are not only not History, but false schools of present public opinion. By composing a severely just account of the War on the basis of cotemporary evidence-ascertaining and testing its facts, combining them in compact narrative, and illustrating them by careful analyses of the spirit of the press, not only in this country, but in Europe, the author aspires to place the history of the War above political misrepresentations, to draw it from disguises and concealments, and to make it complete in three departments: the record of facts; the accounts of public opinion existing with them; and the lessons their context should convey or inspire. These three are the just elements of History. If the author succeeds in what he proposes, he will have no reason to boast that he has produced any great literary wonder; but he will claim that he has made an important contribution to Truth, and done something to satisfy curiosity without "sensation," and to form public opinion without violence.

The author desires to add an explanation of the plan of composition he has pursued in the work. It is impossible to write history as an intelligible whole, and to secure its ends, without preserving a certain dramatic unity in the narrative. It is by such unity that the lesson of history is conveyed, and its impression properly effected; and to do this it becomes

necessary to discard from the narrative many small incidents, either episodal in their nature, or of no importance in the logical chain of events. With this view, the author has paid but little attention to small occurrences of the war which in no way affected its general fortunes, and has measured his accounts of battles and of other events by the actual extent of their influence on the grand issues of the contest. Instead of a confused chronological collection of events, he has sought to prepare for the reader a compact and logical narrative that will keep his attention close to the main movement of the story, and put instruction as to causes hand in hand with the information of events.


Material decline of the South in the Union.-Shifting of the numbers and enterprise of

the country from the Southern to the Northern States.-Virginia's rank among the

States at the time of the Revolution.-Commercial distress of the States after the

Revolution.-How New England suffered.-The South then reckoned the seat of

future empire. The people and strength of America, bearing Southwardly.-

Emigration to the South.-Kentucky and the vales of Frankland.-Virginia's pros-

perity. Her early land system.-The Chesapeake.-Alexandria.-George Wash-

ington's great commercial project.-Two pictures of Virginia: 1789 and 1829.-

An example of the decline of the South in material prosperity.-This decline not

to be attributed to Slavery.-Its true causes.-Effect of the Louisiana purchase on

the tides of emigration.-Unequal Federal legislation, as a cause of the sectional

lapse of the South in the Union.-The key to the political history of America.—A

great defect of the American Constitution.-Population as an element of pros-

perity and power.-How this was thrown into the Northern scale.-Two sectional

measures.-Comparisons of Southern representation in Congress at the date of the

Constitution and in the year 1860.-Sectional domination of the North.-A pro-

tective Tariff." The Bill of abominations."-Senator Benton on the Tariff of 1828.

-His retrospect of the prosperity of the South.-History of the American Tariffs.

-Tariff of 1833, a deceitful Compromise.--Other measures of Northern aggrandize-

ment.-Ingenuity of Northern avarice.-Why the South could not use her Demo-

cratic alliance in the South to protect her interests.-This alliance one only for

party purposes.-Its value.-Analysis of the Democratic Party in the North.-The

South under the rule of a numerical majority.-Array of that majority on a sec-

tional line necessarily fatal to the Union.-When and why the South should

attempt disunion....

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Popular Sovereignty."" A short cut to all the ends of Black Republicanism."

—Douglas as a demagogue.—The true issues in the Kansas controversy.—Import-

ant passages in the Congressional debate.---Settlement of the Kansas question.-

Douglas' foundation of a new party. His demagogueical appeals.---The true situa-

tion.-Loss of the sectional equilibrium.-Serious temper of the South.-“ The

John Brown raid."-Identity of John Brown's provisional constitution and or-

dinances with the subsequent policy of the Republican Party.-Curious fore-

shadow of Southern subjugation.-The descent on Harper's Ferry.—Capture and

execution of Brown.-His declaration.-Northern sympathy with him.—Alarming

tendency of the Republican Party to the Ultra-Abolition school.-"The Helper

Book.”—Sentiments of Sixty-eight Northern congressmen.-The conceit and in-

solence of the North.-Affectation of Republicans that the Union was a concession

to the South.-Hypocrisy of this party.-Indications of the coming catastrophe of

disunion. The presidential canvass of 1860.-Declarations of the Democratic

Party. The Charleston Convention.-Secession of the Southern delegates.-The

different presidential tickets.-Election of Abraham Lincoln.-Analysis of the

vote. How his election was a "sectional" triumph.-Ominous importance of it

in that view.-Arguments for sustaining Lincoln's election.-Seward's argument

in the Senate.-Lincoln's election a geographical one.-How there was no longer

protection for the South in the Union.-The Anti-slavery power compact and in-

vincible.-Another apology for Lincoln's election.-Fallacy of regarding it as a

transfer of the Administration in equal circumstances from the South to the North.

-How the South had used its lease of political power.-Senator Hammond's tri-

bute.-Power in the hands of the North equivalent to sectional despotism.-The

North "acting in mass."-The logical necessity of disunion...

Preparations of South Carolina to withdraw from the Union.-Passage of her Ordinance

of Secession.—The Federal force in Charleston Harbour evacuates Fort Moultrie,

and occupies Sumter.-Description of Fort Sumter.-How the Secession of South

Carolina was entertained in the North.-The levity and inconsistency of the North

with respect to this event.-Doctrine of Secession, and Northern precedents.—

Record of Massachusetts.-Mr. Quincy's declaration in Congress.-A double justifi-

cation of the withdrawal of the Southern States from the Union.-The right of Self-

government.-Opinion of Mr. Lincoln.-Opinion of the New York "Tribune.”-

Opinion of Mr. Seward.-The Secession question in the Cotton States.-Hesitation

of Georgia.-Project of Alexander H. Stephens.-Secession of all the Cotton States.

-Seizure of Federal forts and arsenals.-Fort Pickens.-Senator Yulee's letter.—

The scenes of Secession transferred to Washington.-Resignation of Southern Sena-

tors.-Jefferson Davis' farewell speech to the Federal Senate.-Senator Clay's bill

of indictment against the Republican party.-The Convention at Montgomery.-

Constitution of the Confederate States.-Jefferson Davis chosen President.-His per-

sonal history. His character.-Why the public opinion about him was so divided

and contradictory.-Measures looking to pacification. Three avenues through

which it was expected.-Early prospects of pacification in Congress.-The Republi-

can “ultimatum.”—"The Crittenden compromise."-Measures of compromise and

peace in Congress exclusively proposed by the South, and deliberately defeated by

the North. The Peace Conference.-Its failure.-Disposition of the Border Slave

States.-How mistaken by the North.-The Virginia Convention.-How the Secession

party gained in it. The record of Virginia on the subject of State Rights.—Presi-

dent Buchanan on the Secession question.-His weak character and undecided

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