"This volume is an attempt to rescue from undeserved oblivion a cluster of soldierly autobiographies; and to give to the general reader some pictures of famous battles, not as described by the historian or analysed by the philosopher, but as seen by the eyes of men who fought in them. History treats the men who do the actual fighting in war very ill. It commonly forgets all about them. If it occasionally sheds a few drops of careless ink upon them, it is without either comprehension or sympathy. From the orthodox historian’s point of view, the private soldier is a mere unconsidered pawn in the passionless chess of some cold-brained strategist. As a matter of fact a battle is an event which pulsates with the fiercest human passions — passions bred of terror and of daring; of the anguish of wounds and of the rapture of victory; of the fear and awe of human souls over whom there suddenly sweeps the mystery of death."