The history of a war cannot be properly written until long after its close, for such a work must be based upon a close study of the military correspondence of the generals and upon the best records, to be had of the doings of both sides. Nor can the tactical lessons of a war be fully set forth until detailed and authoritative accounts of the battles are accessible.
But for the nation the lessons of this war are not obscure, at any rate not to those whose occupations have led them to indulge in any close study of war.
Since the middle of December I have written a daily introduction to the telegrams for one of the morning papers. Before I contemplated that work I had undertaken for my friend Mr. Locker, the Editor of _The London Letter_, to write a weekly review of the war.
Many requests have been made to me by publishers for a volume on the history of the war, with which, for the reasons given above, it is impossible at present to comply; but to the proposal of my old friends, Messrs. Archibald Constable and Co., to reprint my weekly reviews from The London Letter, the same objections do not hold.
In revising the articles, I have found but few alterations necessary. My views have not changed, and to make the details of the battles accurate would hardly be practicable without more information than is likely to be at hand until after the return of the troops.
March 9th, 1900