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The story of the great civil war in which our society had its origin will in time be told, and that more fully than the story of any great war in human history. But it will not soon be fully told. Covering more land and water than any other modern war; enlisting the services of over three millions of soldiers, who faced each other in nearly a hundred important battles and in lesser engagements without count; seen by more eye-witnesses capable of describing its events than any other war since the world was made; a war about which more was written and printed in the time of it than any other war,—the very abundance of materials for the historian adds immensely to the labor - and duration of his task. The four thousand solid pages thus far issued of the Official Records of the War, comprising simply the orders and official reports of military operations in the field, which the government is slowly printing, barely covers the first nine months of the war and but one important battle. Histories of campaigns and passages of the war are appearing year by year, more numerous, more careful and more valuable than in the preceding years. To sift fact from fancy, in all this mass of statement; to clear away the rubbish and let the solid truth appear; to decide the disputed claims, so inevitable and so

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