Per the Preface, this is a book about the Civil War by the people who saw it, and lived it. It is a compilation, mainly from the files of "Harper's Weekly" and "Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper" of on-the-spot reports and drawings of what happened during the greatest American conflicts and of the popular conception of the importance of the events of the war. The two weeklies provided the main pictorial coverage and it was only rarely that anyone got any other idea of what the war looked like beyond what the weeklies printed. On the whole they did an extremely good job. The accompanying text is also largely from the two weeklies concerned, The most interesting thing about it is the constant interplay of misestimates and accurate insights that have been fully confirmed by the judgment of history.
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