Everyone is welcome at our monthly meetings

NOTICE: Meetings for the 2022-23 Year will be in-person, but will also be simulcast on Zoom. Zoom details for each meeting will be emailed to members via the newsletter.

VENUE: The rest of the 2023 meetings will be held at the Holiday Inn Oak Brook, 17W 350 22nd St., Oakbrook Terrace.


Feb. 10th
Charlie Knight on Robert E. Lee

Douglas S. Freeman's Pulitzer Prize-winning three-volume biography of Robert E. Lee is a masterful reconstruction of the man's life. So exhaustive was Freeman's research that he often boasted he could account for every hour of Lee's life from West Point until his death. Freeman's Lee is thorough, but it isn't THAT thorough. Often neglected in Freeman's Lee and other studies of the general or of his various battles and campaigns is what Lee was doing when he wasn't in the spotlight.

Charles Knight's new From Arlington to Appomattox: Robert E. Lee's Civil War Day by Day, 1861-1865 recreates those four years of Lee's life--at least as much as is possible at 150+ years distance. It is often forgotten that in addition to his duties as a general, Lee was still a husband, father, and friend. He lost a daughter, sister, two grandchildren, daughter-in-law, and his home during the war. In this presentation Knight shares some of the results of years of research into Lee's actions during the war years; previously unknown sources, inconsistencies that confused Freeman and dozens of other historians over the years, memorable anecdotes of Lee's daily life, and other historical "nuggets" that came to light in his research.

Charles Knight is native of Richmond, VA, where he developed a love of history at an early age. He has worked at museums and historic sites for more than 20 years in Virginia, Arizona, and North Carolina, and has given historical presentations to audiences across the country. He is the author of Valley Thunder: The Battle of New Market (Savas Beatie, 2010), From Arlington to Appomattox: Robert E. Lee's Civil War Day by Day (Savas Beatie, 2021), as well as numerous magazine and journal articles, and was a historical advisor on the 2014 film Field of Lost Shoes, about the Battle of New Market. Knight is currently working on a biography of Confederate general and railroad magnate William Mahone; a history of Gen. Douglas MacArthur's Honor Guard company; and editing the memoirs and papers of Gen. R.E. Lee's aide Charles Venable. Knight is the curator of military history at the NC Museum of History in Raleigh and resides in Holly Springs, NC, with his wife and children.


For our 2022-2023 program year, we proudly welcome these outstanding speakers:

Sept. 9th, 2022: Steven Cowie on "When Hell Came to Sharpsburg: The Battle of Antietam and Its Impact on the Civilians Who Called it Home"
Oct. 14th, 2022: Bruce Allardice on "Myths and Mysteries of the CSS Hunley"
Nov. 11th, 2022: Mary Abroe, The Nevins-Freeman Address. "Historic Preservation and Civil War Battlefields: An American Story"
Dec. 9th, 2022: Garry Adelman, "Midwest Civil War Photo Extravaganza"
Jan. 13th, 2023: Rob Girardi on "Union POWs at Camp Douglas"
Feb. 10th, 2023: Charlie Knight on "Robert E. Lee"
Mar. 10th, 2023: Dwight Hughes on "Unlike Anything That Ever Floated"
Apr. 14th, 2023: Richard Holloway on "The Red River Campaign"
May 12th, 2023: Sean Michael Chick on "Grant's Left Hook: The Bermuda Hundred Campaign"
June 9th, 2023: Mark Zimmerman on "The Retreat from Nashville"

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 in-person meetings are held at:

Holiday Inn Oak Brook
17W 350 22nd St., Oakbrook Terrace
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 not required.
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 does a buffet style dinner. The buffet will include caeser salad, pasta, garlic bread, two meats (grilled chicken, meat balls, or Italian sausage) and dessert.