Max R. Terman was born in Mansfield, Ohio, received his B. A. from Spring Arbor University and Ph. D in zoology from Michigan State University. For thirty seven years he taught biology and environmental science at Tabor College in Hillsboro, Kansas and authored many scientific articles in the field of ecology and animal behavior. An avid golfer, he researched the potential of golf courses to be wildlife habitat and more environmentally compatible. He retired in 2006 to devote more time to writing. His first book in 1985, "Earth Sheltered Housing: Principles in Practice", described the building of his solar powered earth-covered home on fifteen acres of restored prairie and introduced solutions to the looming energy crisis. In 1996, Princeton University Press published his engaging story "Messages From An Owl" about the radiotracking of a hand-reared great horned owl--for over ten years! This book reads like a novel and won wide acclaim from scientists and general readers alike. Recently, Dr. Terman used his writing skills to enter the world of an ancestor who fought in the American Civil War. "Hiram's Honor: Reliving Private Terman's Civil War" is a dramatized first person account of his great-uncle's capture at Gettysburg and amazing survival as a prisoner of war at Richmond's Belle Island and the infamous Andersonville prison camps. Dr. Terman writes as if he were Private Hiram Terman of the 82nd Ohio Infantry in this unique, amazing tale of friendship, faith, hope, and survival against incredible odds.
Although this is a fictional version of the author's Civil War ancestor's experience, it does a wonderful job transporting the reader into the blood, guts and privations of that time. Hiram Terman sets off for war, a naive young man caught up in the patriotic bravado of the war. He encounters boredom, the hardships of training and camp life, then the horror of the first battle. Each battle takes you into the smoke, the shelling, the experience of having a comrade's head blown off his body. Captured at Gettysburg, Hiram survives multiple prison camps (Belle Isle, Andersonville). He learns the importance of teaming up with others to make it through the starvation, disease and filthy conditions as a prisoner of war. I found it a fascinating reading experience and particularly appreciated the careful scholarship and research that went into creating it. I've been working on a similar project researching my own Civil War ancestor who was at Andersonville. This book is quite an achievement in conveying the experience of an infantryman while making a compelling story of it.
This book is about Max Terman's Great Uncle who enlisted and fought with the 82 Ohio during the Civil War. Many books have been written about a soldier's life during the war but this one is based on facts where his regiment and company would be fighting and then the private thoughts and whatever Hiram would be thinking is written in the first person. Call it a novel or a history book. It traces Hirman's journey from training to his capture at Gettysburg and ultimately a prisoner at Andersonville, one of the worst POW camps in the War. You will acquaint yourself with Hiram and his two buddies and will make you feel you were right there with him. I met Max Terman and found he received everything he could on the 82 Ohio and retraced his Great Uncles steps as he went from battle to battle, POW camp to freedom.
I have ever been one to read novels, but this book has changed my mind. Inside this work are 240 pages of fun, adventure, heartache, misery, death, and jubilation. The author Max Terman leads us in the footsteps of his ancestor Private Hiram Terman a soldier of the 82nd Ohio. We get the feel of walking along beside him as his unit marches off to Camp Tod for training. Here we get a taste of camp life and the "not knowing", waiting for orders to move. We continue to walk in his shoes until that fateful day he is captured at Gettysburg and again the waiting, and more of the not knowing. We get a feel of jubilation that he is going to be paroled, only to find out that General Meade has refused a prisoner swap.
Then the long, hungry, thirsty, dry march to Richmond and again, the not knowing what is coming next. We feel his pain at losing friends and of his will to survive. I will not spoil the remainder to the book, but a good half of this work deals with life as a prisoner of war. One can feel the isolation and deprivation as they read the pages. If one has ever followed the life of a captive who is sent to the lower bowels of human treatment by his fellow man, then this is the place to gain an understanding.
I recommend this fine book and appreciate all the maps and pictures. The author visited many of the sites described in the book and has provided modern photographs of these locations and modern markers as well.
This is a really good book. Dr Terman has taken the large topic of the Civil War and made it very personal. His great uncle Hiram is in the first person. The soldier's wide and profoundly sad experiences are carefully and clearly explained. Dr Terman has also taken on Hiram's POW experiences and described these with great sensitivity. Dr Terman's background as an educator and scientist are used to advantage. His language is both clear and accurate. He has gone to the trouble of explaining biological and medical aspects of the Civil War that are generally lost to readers. I recently finished reading several of Winston Groom's Civil War books and Shelby Foote's 3000 page narrative. These are wonderful books and I recommend them highly. However, no living person was present during the Civil War. Many names and places were taken for granted by earlier generations. Dr Terman makes no such assumptions and educates us where we probably need educating. This is the ideal book for students just becoming interested in the Civil War. It is well written. John B Lester
I enjoyed very much reading what the everyday soldier must have thought and felt as he endured the ordeal of war. The author does an outstanding job of conveying the terror and fear and relief after the battle these soldiers experienced. I highly recommend this book and look forward to the sequel to learn of Isaiah's fate .
Professor Terman has written a wonderful book - his discriptive narrative and extensive interest in the American Civil War is very apparent in "Hiram's Honor". The added power is perhaps due to Professor Terman's interest in the telling of one of his ancestors lives.
Reading this wonderful book a sense of 'being there with Hiram' is unavoidable - the vivid descriptions of characters and locations - their confusion and their hopes and sadly, their expereiences in those terrible battles and finally their treatment as POWs it would be a very cold person who is not moved by such a poignant book.
Anyone who is a history boffin or fan of historical events that have shaped our world and effected genrations will get very close to entering a time-machine while reading this wonderful book. Tabor University is privileged to have such a committed historian.