both sides. The original suggestion (based upon the succes of two articles
from different points of view on the John Brown raid, in " The Century" for
that month) was of eight or ten articles on the decisive battles of the war,
and included in the main the features of the expanded series. Mr. R. W.
Gilder, the Editor-in-Chief, at once cordially adopted the suggestion, com-
mitting the charge of its execution to Mr. Johnson, the Associate-Editor,
assisted by Mr. Buel; from the start Mr. Gilder has aided the work by his
counsel, and by the support of his confidence in its success and public use-
fulness-ends which could not have been attained except for the liberal and
continued support of Roswell Smith, Esq., President of The Century Co. The
elaboration of the first plan, the securing of the contributions, and the
shaping and editing of the series were shared by Mr. Johnson and Mr. Buel,
the former devoting the more time to the work duiing the months of organ-
ization, and the latter having entire charge of the editing for nearly the whole
of the second year. The course of the series in magazine form was from
November, 1884, to November, 1887.
That the plan and the time of the enterprise were alike fortunate, may be
estimated from the unprecedented success Ad the articles. Within six months
from the appearance of the first battle paper, the circulation of " The Century "
advanced from 127,000 to 225,000 copies, or to a reading audience estimated
at two millions. A part of this gain was the natural growth of the periodical.
The still further increase of the regular monthly issue during the first year
of the serial publication of Messrs. Nicolay and Hay's Life of Lincoln (1886-87)
has proved the permanent character of the interest in important contribu-
tions to the history of the Civil War.
The present work is a natural sequence of the magazine series, and was
provided for before the publicatik - 4 the first paper. Both the series and this
expansion of it in book form are, in idea as well as in execution, an outgrowth
of the methods and convictions belonging to the editorial habit of "The Cen-
tury" magazine. The chief motive '8ss been strict fairness to the testimony of
both sides, and the chief endeavors hlasse been to prove every important state-
ment by the " Official Records " and 'ther trustworthy documents, and to spare
no pains in the interest of elucidation and accuracy. These ends could not have
been attained without the cordial cooperation as writers, and assistance as
interested actors, of the soldiers of both sides; in these respects the aid
rendered by veterans, from the highest rank to the lowest, has been unstinted,
and would be deserving of particular mention if such were possible within
the bounds of an ordinary preface. Nearly every writer in the work, and
very many others whose names do not appear, have been willing sources
of suggestion and information. Special aid has been received from General
James B. Fry, from the late Colonel Robert N. Scott, who was the editorial
head of the "War Records" office, and from his successor, Colonel H. M.
Lazelle; and thanks are due to General Adam Badeau, George E. Pond,
Colonel John P. Nicholson, Colonel G. C. Kniffin, and to General Marcus
J. Wright, Agent of the War Department for the Collection of Confederate