Everyone is welcome at our monthly meetings
NOTICE: Due to the covid-related meeting restrictions, the April 17th Meeting has been CANCELLED
April 17th, 2020
Recollections of the 1st Virginia Cavalry
Thomas W. Colley served in one of the most active and famous units in the Civil War, the 1st Virginia Cavalry, which fought in battles in the Eastern Theater, from First Manassas/Bull Run to the defense of Petersburg. Colley was born November 11, 1837, outside Abingdon, Virginia, and grew up knowing the daily demands of life on a farm. In May 1861, along with the other members of the Washington Mounted Rifles, he left his home in Washington County and reported to camp in Richmond. During the war, Colley received wounds on three different occasions: first at Waterloo Bridge in 1862, again at Kelly's Ford in 1863, and finally at Haw's Shop in 1864. The engagement at Haw's Shop resulted in the amputation of his left foot, thereby ending his wartime service.
The first modern scholarly edition of Colley's writings, In Memory of Self and Comrades dramatizes Colley's fate as a wounded soldier mustered out before the war's conclusion. Colley's postwar reflections on the war reveal his struggle to earn a living and maintain his integrity while remaining somewhat unreconciled to his condition. He found much of his solace through writing and sought to advance his education after the war. As one of an estimated 20,000 soldiers who underwent amputation during the Civil War, his memoirs reveal the challenges of living with what many might recognize today as post-traumatic stress disorder. Annotations from editor Michael K. Shaffer provide further context to Colley's colorful and insightful writings on both his own condition and the condition of other veterans also dealing with amputations
Civil War historian, instructor, lecturer, newspaper columnist, and author Michael Shaffer is a member of the Society of Civil War Historians, Historians of the Civil War Western Theater, and the Georgia Association of Historians. He teaches Civil War Courses at Kennesaw State University's College of Professional Education, and at Emory University, and frequently speaks to various groups across the country.
For our 2019-20 program year, we proudly welcome these outstanding speakers:
Copies of recorded meetings are available for a small charge. Click here for a printable list of recorded meetings.
More current meetings can be viewed on Youtube.
Sept. 13th: Janet Croon on The War Outside My Window
Oct. 11th: Jim Lighthizer on Battlefield Preservation
Nov. 8th: Ethan Rafuse on Back to the Chivalric Days of Yore: The Valley Campaign of 1862
Dec. 13th: Daniel Weinberg on Musings of a Collecting Voyeur
Jan. 10th: Pam Toler on Heroines of Mercy Street: Nurses in the Civil War
Feb. 14th: Connie Langum on Wilson's Creek
Mar. 13th: David Sutherland on VMI's Civil War Legacy
Apr. 17th: Michael Shaffer on Recollections of the 1st Virginia Cavalry (Cancelled)
May 8th: Wil Greene on The Petersburg Campaign
June 12th: Brian Wills on George Henry Thomas
Our meetings are held at:
Holiday Inn O'Hare
5615 N. Cumberland, Chicago, IL 60631
Parking at the Holiday Inn is FREE
Map and Directions
Dinner $40.00 Members and Non- Members
Cocktails at 5:30, Dinner at 6:30
Presentation only is $10 per person.
Payable at the door, cash or check. Be
there by 7:15. For those attending the presentation only, your reservation is appreciated but
Dinner reservations should be received by Sunday evening prior to the meeting.
Please make your
reservation in advance by emailing
DinnerReservations@ChicagoCWRT.org with the names of your party or by calling (630) 460-1865
Cancellations: email us at
DinnerReservations@ChicagoCWRT.org or call (630) 460-1865
Dinner choices. The CWRT has gone to a buffet style dinner. The buffet will include caeser salad, pasta, garlic bread, two meats (grilled chicken, meat balls, or Italian sausage) and dessert.