Lossing's Field Book of the War of 1812, Preface.







The author of this volume said to the readers of his PICTORIAL FIELD-BOOK OF THE REVOLUTION, at the close of that work, "Should time deal gently with us, we may again go out with staff and scrip together upon the great highway of our countryís progress, to note the march of events there." The implied promise has been fulfilled. The author has traveled more than ten thousand miles in this country and in the Canadas, with note-book and pencil in hand, visiting places of historic interest connected with the War of 1812, from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico, gathering up, recording, and delineating every thing of special value, not found in books, illustrative of the subject, and making himself familiar with the topography and incidents of the battlefields of that war. Access to the archives of governments, state and national, and to private collections, was freely given him; and from the lips of actors in the events of that struggle he received the most interesting information concerning it, which might have perished with them.

The results of the authorís researches and labors are given in this volume. The narrative of historic events is resumed where his work on the Revolution left it. An account is given of the perils of the country immediately succeeding the Revolution; the struggles of the new nation with the allied powers of British and Indians in the Northwest; the origin and growth of political parties in the United States, and their relations to the War of 1812; the influence of the French Revolution and French politics in giving complexion to parties in this country; the first war with the Barbary Powers; the effects of the wars of Napoleon on the public policy of the United States; the Embargo and kindred acts, and the kindling of the war in 1812.

The events of the war are given in greater detail than in any work hitherto published, and the narrative brings to view actors in the scenes whose deeds have been overlooked by the historian. The work is a continuation of the history of our country from the close of the Revolution in 1783 to the end of the Second War with Great Britain in 1815.




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