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The war of the United States with Spain was very brief. Its results were many, startling, and of worldwide meaning. Hence its importance. The history of this war, in the broadest and truest sense of the word, cannot be written for many years, because until years have passed it will be impossible to get all the necessary material, or to secure the perspective and proportion which distance alone can give.
It is not too soon, however, to write the brief chronicle of the time, or to give, in connected and coherent narration, a history which, like Browning's poem, shall tell “ How it strikes a contemporary.”
This story of the war of the United States with Spain is based on the official reports of the military and naval operations, everything accessible having been carefully examined. The official reports have been supplemented by an examination, so far as possible, of all the accounts of eye-witnesses which had either interest or authority, and which have appeared in such abundance. The political portions of the story, and the account of events in Washington, have been written from a somewhat close personal knowledge of all that happened at the capital during the war period.
I desire to thank Adjutant-General Corbin and General Schwan for the courtesy and readiness with which they aided me in getting access to the army reports and to statistics very difficult to obtain. I am very much indebted to my friend Secretary Long, and to Mr. Allen, the Assistant-Secretary of the Navy, for the kindness with which they have helped me in all that related to naval affairs. I also owe an especial debt of gratitude to Captain Crowninshield, Chief of the Bureau of Navigation, for the unfailing patience with which he answered my many inquiries, and for the help which he was always ready to give me in the kindest and most generous manner.
H. C. LODGE. Washington, 1899.