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International Honor Society in Social Sciences
The mission of Pi Gamma Mu is to encourage and promote excellence in the Social Sciences and to uphold and nurture scholarship, leadership, and service.

MICHAEL K. SHAFFER, LIFETIME MEMBER OF THE WEST VIRGINIA IOTA CHAPTER, AUTHORS NEW BOOK ON THE U.S. CIVIL WAR

Shaffer Michael K. Shaffer, an honors graduate of the American Military University, with BA and MA degrees in Military History, remains a member of the Pi Gamma Mu National Honor Society, and the Golden Key National Honour Society. In early 2011, he moved to Kennesaw, Georgia, from Virginia, to take a job at Kennesaw State University as a lecturer and assistant director of the Civil War Center. After three years, he decided to semi-retire, creating more time for projects such as his newest book, just released from the University of Tennessee Press, as part of their 'Voices of the Civil War Series.'

In Memory of Self and Comrades: Thomas Wallace Colley's Recollections of Civil War Service in the 1st Virginia Cavalry, offers a fascinating account of a soldier who served in one of the most active and famous units in the American Civil War, the 1st Virginia Cavalry. In May 1861, along with the other members of the Washington Mounted Rifles, Colley left his home in Washington County, Virginia, and reported to camp in Richmond. During the war, he 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 wound received at Haw's Shop resulted in the amputation of his left foot, thereby ending his wartime service.

His reminiscences cover not only his military experiences but postwar life as well. Living through reconstruction, while trying to provide for a family quickly increasing in size, presented various problems for a veteran missing a foot. The vivid accounts of his work as deputy-sheriff, as superintendent of the Poor House, and the financial need to move his entire family to South Carolina to gain employment, offer a rare insight into this period of our history. Colley's struggled with what we today refer to as PTSD, which provided continual challenges. Only through his joining the church, a deepening faith, and supportive family did he overcome all obstacles encountered.

Shaffer continues to teach American Civil War courses at KSU's College of Continuing and Professional Education and speaks to groups across the country on various topics from the war. On one such occasion, while speaking at a church in Virginia, one celebrating their 150th anniversary in July 2016, he met a Colley descendant, who provided him with the soldier's journals, and asked Shaffer if he might have an interest in getting the work published. According to Shaffer, "after almost falling over in the church parking lot upon seeing multiple journals emerge from the descendant's car," he responded in the affirmative, and a journey lasting over two years began.

One can order the book from any online bookseller, get a copy from the University of Tennessee Press, or purchase one direct from Shaffer during one of several book signing events.  Learn more about these local events on his website: http://www.civilwarhistorian.net/upcoming-events.html

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