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HIS BOOK is largely the result of a desire to comply with the wishes
of friends who have expressed the opinion that such a work would find a goodly number of interested readers. It was no part of my
purpose to write my memoirs or a history; but rather to retrace, with such readers as shall choose to accompany me, some portions of the journey of life that now lie in the past.
It is impossible in a single volume to do justice to all my companions who were engaged in the great cause of the Civil War, or those who engaged in the war for civilization along our western frontier; yet it has been my endeavor to do injustice to none.
I have by no means exhausted the important features that marked the original journey, but have aimed to point out briefly, as far as practicable, the more interesting and instructive events so that the time of the reader may be spent not only agreeably, but with some degree of profit.
In presenting these thoughts and observations I have hoped to meet the favor of the intelligent, generous American, whom I know to be most considerate, and I trust I may rely upon his liberal consideration, especially when it is remembered that I have been obliged to gather and prepare much of the material at spare hours during the time largely taken up with the cares of exacting official duties and responsibilities. In this I have had the earnest assistance of Mr. N. E. Dawson, and for his faithful and zealous labor I desire to express my appreciation.
If this narrative shall inspire thought or promote a taste for further research and study along the diversified lines of development in our great and growing country, my efforts will not have been in vain. I have also endeavored to illustrate the difficulties and dangers to which my companions in arms were exposed, in order that, if possible, their services and achievements might be more fully appreciated by the beneficiaries who are now enjoying the fruits of their heroism and sacrifices.
NELSON A. MILES. HEADQUARTERS OF THE ARMY, Washington, D. C. February 1, 1896.