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Seeing the Elephant

Great firsthand story of the common man in the Civil War!

This is an excellent book for anyone that is interested in or enjoys reading about the Civil War. It is a very easy read about the firsthand accounts of Tom Armstrong and his Civil War experiences. It was a book I picked up and could not put down. It is very well written and kept me wanting more! I highly recommend it!


Matthew Harper

Zanesville, Ohio

October 21, 2019

Will Please Wartime Reading Fans, Highly Recommended

Seeing the Elephant: One Man’s Return to the Horrors of the Civil War is a work of historical fiction focused on American history and was penned by author T. W. Harvey. Based on very real attitudes, events and emotions from authentic letters penned during the time period itself, the author has developed the tale of Lieutenant Thomas S. Armstrong into a compelling personal narrative of how it truly felt to be there in wartime. Featuring many different manoeuvres, conflicts and everyday situations from the perspective of a Union Army Soldier, this down to earth and realistic novel takes on the war from the average man’s perspective.


The deeper you read into this epic, vastly detailed work, the more involved you become with the work of author T. W. Harvey and the discovery of his great-grandfather’s collection of letters. That personal yet distant relationship between the two men lends emotional credence to the work itself, which is well-paced between descriptions of the real events taking place and moments of emotional downtime for Lieutenant Tom as he processes the true horrors and deep scars of what he has witnessed. The novel is detailed enough for Civil War non-fiction fans to delve into its soldier’s-eye perspective deeply, yet filled with action, suspense and an emotional character arc for Tom and his compatriots which stand up to any modern warfare fiction of today. Overall, Seeing the Elephant: One Man’s Return to the Horrors of the Civil War will please many a wartime reading fan and is highly recommended.


Reviewed By:

K.C. Finn

"Gut Wrenching, Engaging but Enjoyable Story "

Greetings Tom,

We met in April in Zanesville at your book signing. I Just finished the book and wanted to drop you a line.

In a word, Excellent! Being recently (14 years) transplanted here in Z’ville, but interested in Ohio and US history your story and the locations represented through it really brought alive the mid 1800’s for me!

Thank you for a gut wrenching, engaging but enjoyable story of the reality of the Civil War. 

Best to you and Paula, and if you are ever passing through again, let us know, Debbie and I would love to get together for dinner.


Paul (Debbie) Klouda Fmr East Side Clevelanders

"So Much Interesting History"

Just finished reading a fascinating book written by the husband of a long-time good friend, Paula Harvey, Tom Harvey. And I remember when his parents, friends of John from Ohio Wesleyan University, moved from their house in Cleveland Hgts. And talk of finding the letters from Tom’s great Grandfather about the Civil War. So much interesting history. Thanks Tom, great job!


Barbara Bub Peckinpaugh

Matlacha Isles, FL

April 5, 2019

"Graphic and True to the Facts"



Your book came, and we were overjoyed. Everything looks, feels, and reads very well. It is a great publication. He did ‘see the elephant.’ That phrase was so graphic and true to the facts. Tom Armstrong experienced nearly every phase of the war, as a civilian and a soldier. His prisoner days covered every possible development.

Tom, we are so glad the letters survived…now your good, full, and great work.


What a full life, and you have dug around and set it in the historic reality that existed. Very proud of you. (Thanks for letting us work a bit with you.)


All best regards…


Betty and Dick

Dr. and Mrs. Richard Smith

Dr. Smith: Professor Emeritus of History

Ohio Wesleyan University

March 14, 2019

Featured Books


Seeing the Elephant

Awarded Distinctive Favorite Honors by the 2022 NYC Bick Book Award Competition

Distinguished Favorite in the 2022 Independent Press Competition 


Answering Lincoln's Call

Awarded the Distinguished Favorite Honor by the 2023 Independent Press Award Competition

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