Cover art for the newest book in the trilogy "From Vicksburg to Bennett Place."
The Armstrong Family Trilogy
The Armstrong Family Trilogy is based on 250 letters written by the author’s great-grandfather, Thomas S. Armstrong, and his great-great uncle, George W. Porter, about their experiences in the Civil War. Throughout the war, they sent the letters home to their families in Muskingum County, Ohio, where they were preserved for 130 years before the author discovered them and realized there was a story to be told.
Answering Lincoln's Call
Awarded the Distinguished Favorite Honor by the 2023 Independent Press Award Competition
Won the Big Book Award in 2023
Seeing the Elephant
Awarded Distinctive Favorite Honors by the 2022 NYC Bick Book Award Competition
Distinguished Favorite in the 2022 Independent Press Competition
From Vicksburg to Bennett Place
A Personal Note from Tom
My new historical novel, “From Vicksburg to Bennett Place: The Long March to Victory,” was published in December, 2023. This is the third and final book in my trilogy, “My Family in the Civil War,” that includes “Answering Lincoln’s Call: War in America” and “Seeing the Elephant: One Man’s return to the Horrors of the Civil War.” All three are available at Amazon and also from me, being ordered here on the website.
Around 30 years ago, we found 250 letters in wooden crates in my parents’ basement that appeared to be quite old. I had no idea they existed as the crates had been nailed shut, and we found, when we read them, they were written by my great grandfather, Thomas S. Armstrong, and my great-grandmother’s brother, George W. Porter. They are the main characters of the trilogy, first introduced in “Answering Lincoln’s Call” as they experienced various emotions as they struggled with the decision to go into harm’s way after the bombardment of Fort Sumter. And, so did the other members of their families.
In November, 1861, Porter and Armstrong, Tom’s brother, Wilbur, and three of their friends enlisted in the 78th Ohio Volunteer Infantry which was sent into Kentucky to serve in the army of Brigadier General Ulysses S. Grant. As “Lincoln’s Call” progresses, the 78th is at the Battle of Fort Donelson and then fights in the Battle of Shiloh after which Tom Armstrong was sent home to Zanesville, Ohio, with a medical discharge, the conclusion of the book.
Armstrong’s story continues in the first chapter of “Seeing the Elephant,” we learn of his dilemma, to reenlist or not which he finally did in the 122nd Ohio Volunteers. This regiment was sent to Winchester, Virginia to guard the railroad crossings and the many Union warehouses. Little did they know that General Robert E. Lee’s Confederate army was coming north and on its way to Pennsylvania, tired of fighting just in Virginia. As it moved north, it confronted the Union force at Winchester in the second battle there, in which Tom Armstrong was captured and taken to Libby Prison in Richmond. The remainder of “The Elephant” deals with his trials and tribulations as he spent the next 21 months in Confederate prisons.
The third book in the trilogy, “From Vicksburg to Bennett Place: The Long March to Victory,” centers on George W. Porter, my great grandfather’s best friend and ultimately his brother-in-law after the war. It describes how he works with the command of the Army of the Tennessee as aide-de-camp to General Mortimer Leggett and then working with Major General John A. Logan and Major General William T. Sherman. The story moves from taking control of the Mississippi River after the successful conquest of Vicksburg, to the March to the Sea, and finally to the march through the Carolinas and the surrender of General Joseph Johnston at Bennett Place, just outside Durham, ending the American Civil War.
If you are interested, we have plenty of books here for direct shipment should you wish to have an autographed copy. If so, please see the link right here on the website.
With the trilogy complete. I am currently researching the events of the 19th century in the United States since we discovered 750 additional letters written by my family from 1834 to 1888. I will start writing the stories the letters tell this summer.
There is another link at the upper left corner – firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be interested to hear from you about these historical novels or even if you just want to make my acquaintance. I will read every message that comes in and will get back to you as quickly as I can, even if the message is critical or there are suggestions for improvement.
Best wishes to you all and let me know what you think.