From the Introduction:
There are certain distinguishing characteristics of the American soldier in the war for the Union, which mark him and make him to stand forth illustrious.
He was characterized by a most remarkable patriotism. His patriotism was not passive, but active. Daniel Webster once said that there are times when the most eloquent thing in the world is action. He tells us when those times occur. They come to a man when the life of his family or the nation hangs trembling in the balance. “Then patriotism is eloquent, then self-devotion is eloquent.” That time came when the gathering storm of disunion burst upon the country. The nation’s life hung trembling in the balance. Treason was in the air Sumter had fallen. The flag had been insulted. Washington was menaced, and the streets of Baltimore ran red with Massachusetts blood. Then, flashing along the wires, there came the call for troops.
To the Heroic Men, who, in the War for the Union, followed the Flag, on Land and Sea, this Volume is affectionately Dedicated by The Author.
After many year of waiting, a history of the Third Mass. Cavalry is now given to the world. Having been commissioned to execute the work, it is with great satisfaction that the author now announces that the enterprise has been brought to a successful consummation. Great labor has been involved in the undertaking. So scattered are the living members of the regiment, and so imperfect the records kept by the officers, that the task imposed of making a complete history of the organization has not been ordinary. The historian has striven to give as complete and accurate a statement of facts as possible under the circumstances. Mistakes will be discovered; the impossible has not been attempted.
In performing this work the writer has been greatly aided by the members of the Historical Committee; by Sec. George H. Rymill, and by Capt. J. W. Hervey.
His thanks are due to Putnam & Sons, New York, for cuts of battlefields; to Harper & Bros., and to the Star Publishing Co. of Chicago, for permission to copy certain interesting scenes in the regimental life.
The following works have been consulted:
“Greeley’s American Conflict“, “Harper’s Pictorial History of the War“, “Irwin’s History of the 19th Corps“, published by Putnam & Sons, N. Y., and “Campaigning with Banks and Sheridan,” by Flynn.
The author is greatly indebted to the Adjutant General’s Reports for 1863-1866, as compiled by Lieut.-Col. D. P. Muzzey, of Cambridge.
If this History shall in some degree serve to perpetuate the record of the gallant regiment whose deeds are herein narrated, and if the rising generation shall, perchance, gather somewhat of inspiration from the perusal of these pages, the author shall be rewarded for the time and toil expended in the preparation and publication of the work.
J. K. E