Seeing the Elephant: One Man's Return to the Horrors of the Civil War
Seeing the Elephant: One Man’s Return to the Horrors of the Civil War is a true story originally told in 180 letters written by Lieutenant Thomas S. Armstrong of the 122nd Ohio Volunteer Infantry about his experiences in the Civil War. T.W. Harvey has used those letters and other primary research to tell of those experiences from the decision to fight for his country and what it stood for, to being discharged after the Battle of Shiloh due to illness; to the decision to re-enlist knowing that he will see the horrors of battle once again and the possibility of death; to being captured at the Second Battle of Winchester; to endure the horrible conditions of prison life; to escaping from Libby Prison only to be recaptured; to being paroled and marching in the funeral procession of Abraham Lincoln. Harvey recounts these events as they happened to an ordinary infantry soldier, one of 2.5 million men who served their country, both North and South, during the Civil War. He tells of the thoughts and feelings of Lt. Armstrong; his worries, fears, and concerns; emotions that every man in uniform felt against the background of the conflict that tore the North and South apart.