The war with Russia, which has now closed, may be designated as a short, sharp, and decisive one: it has been began, continued, and concluded within little more than two years; and there are those who refuse to class it among the great wars of Europe. But when we take into consideration the magnitude of the operations, and the vast amount of the forces engaged—the distance to which these had to be transported—the fearful catalogue of victims, and the heavy cost in money—when we reflect upon all these, we are compelled to acknowledge that we have been living in a fearful struggle.

The compilation of this work has been undertaken with a view to place before the reader something like a comprehensive sketch of the contest, from its commencement to its close: thus enabling the reader to exercise his own judgment in deciding where to blame and where to approve. Narratives of war and bloodshed are no pleasing themes to dilate upon; but we imagine there are few Englishmen who can coldly and stoically peruse the heroic deeds of their fellow-countrymen, and refuse to pay the tribute of praise to those who are contending in a just and necessary conflict.

This work embraces the whole struggle, from its origin to its termination; and the principal events connected with it have been elaborately pourtrayed. Almost every minor event has been touched upon; and, when the extent of country to which operations have been directed, and the descriptions given of those places, are taken into account the work will be found to contain geographical knowledge of some value. In short, the Compiler ventures to assert, that the work will be found suitable to all classes of readers; and from the large quantity of exciting and interesting matter which it contains, he hesitates not to say that it will be found equal, if not superior, to any work of the kind. That the time may be long, ere his or any other pen shall be employed in describing the conflicts of another European war, is the sincere wish of


Halifax, June, 1856.


Source: ***. A History of the Russian War. London: Milner and Co, n.d. (but a. 1856)