The Historian’s Only Source of Value
“Reading contemporary accounts brings home the fact that of any battle or campaign there are at least four different versions.
One is that of those who fought in it; two is of the generals who commanded in it; three is of those who reported on it at the time and made what they could of a mass of confused and often misleading information; and four is the version of those who had a theory about it and reported those facts which happened to fit the version they were trying to portray.
Of all these sources the first and second are the ones which are given least credence because their authors are probably unskilled in literary matters. But for the historian they are the only source of value.”
(The Crimean War, A Reappraisal; Philip Warner, Wordsworth Editions, 2001 (original, 1972), pg. 2)