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The reason which made it a duty to withhold some portions of the Despatch of the 29th of June has ceased to operate, and the Despatch is now given entire.
Some notes have been added, and some passages contained in the second volume have been moved on to other parts of the same chapter ;* but not a word has been withdrawn from the text, and not a word has been added to it.
Since the publication of the first edition I have been engaged in a great deal of discussion with military men on the subject of transactions in which they bore a part. This discussion has been laborious; but the result of it is satisfactory; for it entitles me to believe that none of the officers I speak of are now
* The exact extent to which this has been done is shown in the Direction, p. xxvii.
VOL. I. a
IV ADVERTISEMENT TO THE THIRD EDITION.
at variance with me upon any grave matters of fact; and yet (as will be seen, I think, from the purport and from the scantiness of the very few notes now appended) I have been able to stand fast to the tenor of the narrative as given in the first and second editions. It was in the nature of things that an honest comparison of the impressions of several eyewitnesses should throw more and more light upon the matters to which it related; but the farther and more minute facts thus brought to my knowledge have not proved to be of such a kind as to contravene the narrative. On the contrary, their tendency has been to elucidate its meaning, and to strengthen its outlines. So, by merely inserting a few footnotes, I have been able to give to the public the fruit of the discussion which has been going on, and to do this, as I have already said, without resorting to the plan of withdrawing any words from the text.
THE SOURCES OF THE NARRATIVE.
Before I had determined to write any account of the war, there were grounds from which many inferred that a task of this kind would be mine; and I may say that, from the hour of their landing on the enemy's coast, close down to the present time, men, acting under this conviction, have been giving me a good deal of their knowledge.
In 1856 Lady Eaglan placed in my hands the whole mass of the papers which Lord Eaglan had with him at the time of his death. Having done this, she made it her request that I would cause to be published a letter which her husband addressed to her a few days before his death* All else she left to me. Time passed, and no history founded upon these papers was given to the world. Time still passed away; and it chanced to me to hear that people who longed for the dispersion of what they believed to be falsehoods, were striving to impart to Lady Raglan the not unnatural impatience which all this delay had provoked. But, with a singleness of purpose and a strength of will which remind one of the great soldier who was her father's brother, she answered that, the papers having once been placed under my control, she would not disturb me with expressions of impatience, nor suffer any one else to do so with her assent. I cannot be too grateful to her for her generous and resolute trustfulness. If these volumes are late, the whole blame rests with me. If they are reaching the light too soon, the fault is still mine.
* I need hardly say that this letter will appear in its proper place, though not in either of these two volumes.
Knowing Lord Raglan's habits of business, knowing his tendency to connect all public transactions with the labours of the desk, and finding in no part of the correspondence the least semblance of anything like a chasm, I am led to believe that, of almost everything concerning the business of the war which was known to Lord Raglan himself, there lies in the papers before me a clear and faithful record.
In this mass of papers there are, not only all the Military Reports which were from time to time addressed to the Commander of the English army by the generals and other officers serving under him (including their holograph narratives of the part they had been taking in the battles), but also Lord Raglan's official and private correspondence with sovereigns and their ambassadors; with ministers, generals, and admirals; with the French, with the Turks, with the Sardinians; with public men, and official functionaries of all sorts and conditions; with adventurers; with men propounding wild schemes; with dear and faithful