Harper’s War Stories and Wargames

Welcome from J. Kevin Smith

Y You have landed at the Harper’s War Stories and Wargames website, either intentionally or through fortunate random searching. We welcome you to visit with us for a while to explore America’s past as seen through the eyes, novels, and short stories of our authors.

To go directly to the Harper’s Wargames store, click here.

Our Vision

Harper’s War Stories is a community of authors dedicated to revealing the past through the lives of the ordinary people of the times. We follow the guidelines of the Historical Novel Society in defining the historical period as not later than fifty years before the present. While there are a large number of excellent websites dedicated to exploring or preserving North American history as a series of linked, historical occurrences, our authors seek to make the subject more vivid to the lay reader through historical fiction in the form of novels, novellas, and short stories. Perhaps through these stories, readers will come to a better understanding of what we, the populations of the three countries of North America, have been through and use this greater understanding to inform our collective futures.

The Western Theater 1862

The Western Theater 1862. Showing the locations of places named in Sean Gabhann’s Shiloh Trilogy. For a Wikipedia summary of the historical battles click on Belmont, Fort Henry, Fort Donelson, or Shiloh.

Our Mission

Historical fiction provides an ideal medium for illuminating the lives of the people of the past. But where many authors choose to focus their effort on major players, like Washington, Lee, Lincoln, or Houston, our works will concentrate more on the vast majority of the people in the past who remain mostly unknown. Major actors of the period will appear, but usually they act as part of the environment for our characters while we tell the stories of how the great mass of people made their way within the environment resulting from the actions of the ‘great men of the age’.

Our efforts begin with the works of my personal doppleganger, Sean K. Gabhann. Sean’s first work is the Shiloh Trilogy. Set in the American Civil War, the Trilogy tells the story of how the men of Company B, First Iowa Volunteer Mounted Infantry coalesce into a band-of-brothers in time to face their worst ordeal to date on the Shiloh battlefield in April 1862. Supporting characters expand the story to show the civilian population coping with the war during the same time period.

Latest News (as of March 1st, 2017)

Readers and writers are invited to join the conversation with John Kevin, Sean, and others at the Facebook page for Writers and Readers of Historical Fiction Set in the United States.


John Kevin Smith:

* Not much news to report. Spending most of my time remodeling our rental home.


Sean Kevin Gabhann:

*  The pamphlet: Jamie Harper at the battles for Forts Heiman and Henry remains available for download from this site and for order through Harper’s Wargames.

* Book One of the Shiloh Trilogy: Harper’s Donelson was published on September 26, 2015 by Sundown Press. Harper’s Donelson is now available in ebook format and paperback from Amazon. Paperbacks are available at reduced cost through the Harper’s Wargames on-line store, although California sales tax applies.

Book Two of the Shiloh Trilogy: Harper’s Rescue will be published on March 23rd, 2017 by Sundown Press. You can pre-order the ebook format for Harper’s Rescue now from Amazon. Paperbacks will be available in April 2017 at reduced cost through the Harper’s Wargames on-line store, although California sales tax applies.

* Book Three of the Shiloh Trilogy: Harper’s Shiloh.  Work continues on the adventures of Jamie Harper and his crew in the days before the great battle and during the battle itself.  Who lives? Who dies? I still haven’t figured that out yet.

* I have added a YouTube video from the Ken Burn’s program The Civil War, a reading of Major Sullivan Ballou’s last letter to his wife because I think it puts a human face on a war now seven generations in the past. Ballou was among the first volunteers in 1861. In the letter, he describes his internal conflicts between his love of country and his love for his family. Ballou suffered a mortal wound at the First Battle of Bull Run a week after writing the letter.  Have a handkerchief with you when you click on this.


We remain accessible to new authors of historical fiction who might wish to join the collective.  If you are an author who specializes in the history of the three countries of North America and whose work focuses on illuminating the lives of our predecessors through character- or plot-based historical fiction, drop me a comment or direct mail at: jksmith6757@gmail.com .

JKS, General Manager