Field Marshal Viscount Garnet Joseph Wolseley, born to a well-heeled Dublin family, was assigned in 1861 to service with the British army in Canada.
Here, he became engrossed by the mounting conflict in the United States and eventually decided to take two months' leave in order to observe the situation firsthand.
His writings on the Civil War provide a fascinating and little-presented perspective on America's bloodiest conflict.
Editor James Rawley's introductions to each of the book's four pieces (as well as his lengthy one at the beginning of the book) provide the necessary context for a modern reading of Wolseley's essays.
Rawley's new preface to this edition revisits Wolseley's writings in the light of the past thirty-five years of Civil War scholarship.