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The Civil War Journals of Corporal Thomas W. Colley

August 3 @ 7:30 pm - 8:30 pm

| Free


August 3
7:30 pm - 8:30 pm
Event Category:


Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center Auditorium
One Partnership Circle
Abingdon, VA 24210 United States
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Event Date:
Friday, August 3, 2018 – 7:30 to 8:30pm

Michael Shaffer will discuss his latest book project, “The Civil War Journals of Corporal Thomas W. Colley,” published by the University of Tennessee Press. Colley, a native of Washington County, served with the 1st Virginia Cavalry during the war, and was wounded several times during the conflict. The First Virginia participated in many of the major battles of the Civil War, including First and Second Manassas, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. After the war, he served as Deputy Sheriff and Commissioner of Revenue in Washington County. Shaffer has transcribed, edited, and annotated Colley’s wartime and postwar writings.

Admission is free.

About Thomas Colley
Thomas W. Colley (1837-1919) enlisted at age 24, April 1861, and was wounded several times during the conflict. After the war, Colley returned to his home in Washington County, Virginia, where he served as Deputy Sheriff, Commissioner of Revenue, and Overseer of the Poor. Company D of the First Virginia Cavalry, was organized in Abingdon, Virginia, April 1861 as the “Washington Mounted Rifles” by Captain William E. Jones. Jones, nicknamed “Grumble” for his gruff personality, later commanded the regiment before being promoted to General. Attached to the Army of Northern Virginia, the First Virginia participated in the engagements of First Manassas, Gainesvillle, Second Manassas, Sharpsburg, Fredricksburg, Kelley’s Ford, Chancellorsville, Brandy Station, Gettysburg, Bristoe Station, the Wilderness, Todd’s Tavern, Spotsylvania, Bethesda Church, and Cold Harbor. Towards the close of the war, the unit was involved in Jubal Early’s Shenandoah Valley Campaign, the defense of Petersburg, and the Appomattox Campaign.

For more information on the service of the First Virginia Cavalry see: Robert Driver, Jr., 1st Virginia Cavalry. Lynchburg, Virginia: H. E. Howard, Inc., 1991. A collection of Colley’s wartime correspondence is held in the Special Collections at Virginia Tech.

About Michael Shaffer

Michael Shaffer is a Civil War historian, instructor and battlefield guide. He currently lives in Kennesaw, Georgia, where he frequently lectures about Civil War history and currently teaches courses at Kennesaw State University’s College of Continuing and Professional Education. When he lived in Glade Spring, he was the author of “Washington County Virginia in the Civil War,” chaired the county’s sesquicentennial committee and served as the liaison to Virginia’s Sesquicentennial Commission in Richmond. Shaffer has a BA in military history as well as a MA in military history and Civil War studies from the American Military University.