Everyone is welcome at our monthly meetings


See list of meeting dates and speakers below for our 2016-2017 program year.

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.

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 $50.00 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 not required.

Dinner reservations should be received by Sunday evening prior to the meeting. When you make your dinner reservation, please be sure to indicate your entrée choice.

Please make reservations your reservation in advance by emailing DinnerReservations@ChicagoCWRT.org with the names of your party and choice of entre'e or calling (630) 460-1865

Cancellations: email us at DinnerReservations@ChicagoCWRT.org  or call (630) 460-1865

Entrée choices are:
   Sirloin
   White Fish

April 21st, 2017
Diane Smith:

Command Conflict in the Overland Campaign

The characters and confusion that surrounded Ulysses Simpson Grant in springtime 1864 Virginia come vividly to life in “Command Conflicts in Grant’s Overland Campaign,” the latest book by Civil War author Diane Monroe Smith.

Author of the Chamberlain biography Fanny and Joshua, Smith wrote “Command Conflicts” after researching the role that Joshua Chamberlain played during the siege of Petersburg.

During her research for her book, “Fanny and Joshua” (a dual biography of Joshua and Fanny Chamberlain), Smith contacted an archivist at Duke University, which she had heard still possessed some Joshua Chamberlain letters. Instead the university had an unpublished “Chamberlain manuscript” detailing the history of the Petersburg campaign, during which Chamberlain commanded a brigade in the Fifth Corps, she learned. Smith “heavily annotated” the manuscript and published the book Chamberlain at Petersburg. The book presents “a good, hard look at the Fifth Corps and their experience in Grant’s Overland Campaign,” she said. Drawing upon her research, she started investigating Grant and the generals who surrounded him during spring and summer 1864. Her effort led to the January 2013 publication of Command Conflicts in Grant’s Overland Campaign. Painstakingly researched and highly detailed, the 248-page (bibliography and index included) book follows Grant as he assumes higher command in the Western Theater and ultimately becomes the commander of all Union armies in winter 1864.

Smith meticulously introduces the many generals who commanded various components of that army and explains how ambition, ego, and personality traits adversely impacted the army’s command structure.

A Maine resident, Diane Smith has now written three Civil War-themed books, accomplishments made possible by her lifelong interest in the war. (h/t Bangor Daily News)

For our 2016-17 program year, we proudly welcome these outstanding speakers:

Sept. 9th: Steve Quick on The C.S.S. Hunley

Oct. 14th: Lance Herdegen, Nevins-Freeman Address

Nov. 11th: Dave Connon on Iowa Copperheads

Dec. 9th: Bjorn Skaptasan on Ambrose Bierce at Shiloh

Jan. 13th, 2017: Richard Sommers on Lessons in Leadership in the Petersburg Campaign

Feb. 10th: Bob O'Neil on Cavalry During the Peninsula Campaign

Mar. 10th: Paul Kahan on Simon Cameron, Lincoln's First Secretary of War

Apr. 21st: Diane Smith on Command Conflict in the Overland Campaign

May 12th: Connie Hansen presents a First Person Portrayal of Jennie Wade's mother

June 9th: Don Sender on Untold Facts of the Custer Debacle