From the manuscripts of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the Library of Congress, the editor has compiled and annotated these Civil War diaries of Salmon Portland Chase, Secretary of the Treasury for the three years of Lincoln's administration, and has provided an introductory essay on Chase that balances both his personality and his public services in careful analysis. The diaries do not begin until December, 1861, and end in May, 1864, as Chase, now Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, is about to start on a southern trip. The entries cover cabinet meetings, discussion of financial problems, criticisms of political and military strategy, observations of the President, generals, and events, and in their unimpassioned chronological survey, convey an eye-witnessing of history drenched years. There's gall and wormwood, along with a final satisfaction when he resigns, and the whole offers fine background researching for Civil War and Lincoln addicts. The annotations amplify and explain necessary parts of the text. A good reference book for scholars.