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Center for the Study of the Civil War Era at Kennesaw State University



Brian S. Wills, Ph.D.

Brian Steel Wills is the Director of the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era and Professor of History at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia, after a long tenure at the University of Virginia's College at Wise. He is the author of numerous works relating to the American Civil War, including a new volume - The River Was Dyed with Blood: Nathan Bedford Forrest and Fort Pillow. His other titles include:

A Battle From the Start: The Life of Nathan Bedford Forrest
Reprinted as: The Confederacy's Greatest Cavalryman: Nathan Bedford Forrest. This work was chosen as both a History Book Club selection and a Book of the Month Club selection. He also authored, The War in Southeastern Virginia, released in October, 2001, and No Ordinary College: A History of The University of Virginia's College at Wise, (2004), both by the University Press of Virginia. Gone with the Glory: The Civil War in Cinema appeared in 2006. An updated edition of the James I. “Bud” Robertson, Jr., Civil War Sites in Virginia (Virginia, 2011) arrived just in time for the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, and in 2012 and 2013, Brian authored George Henry Thomas: As True as Steel and Confederate General William Dorsey Pender: The Hope of Glory.

In 2000, Dr. Wills received the Outstanding Faculty Award from the state of Virginia, one of eleven recipients from all faculty members at public and private institutions across the state. He was named Kenneth Asbury Professor of History and won both the Teaching award and the Research and Publication award from UVA-Wise.

Michael K. Shaffer, M.A. Military History - Civil War

Michael K. Shaffer is the Assistant Director of the Center for the Study of the Civil War Era at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia. He is a Civil War historian, author, and newspaper columnist, who authored Washington County, Virginia in the Civil War, which published in February 2012. Prior to joining the Civil War Center, Michael resided in Virginia, where he assisted the Historical Society of Washington County as Civil War historian, treasurer, and board member. He chaired the county's Civil War sesquicentennial committee, and served as the liaison between all counties in the southwestern portion of the Old Dominion, and the Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission in Richmond.

He has delivered various lectures on the Civil War, participated in the Barter Theatre's (State Theatre of Virginia) 360 panel discussions, and the American Library Association’s ‘Making Sense of the American Civil War’ series.Assistant Director/Lecturer at Kennesaw State University's Civil War Center, Civil War historian, newspaper columnist, and author of 'Washington County, Virginia in the Civil War.' He remains a member of the Society of Civil War Historians, Historians of the Civil War Western Theater, Georgia Association of Historians, serves on the boards of the Civil War Round Table of Cobb County and the River Line Historic Area, a member of the Civil War Round Table of Atlanta, and serves as the Civil War consultant for the Friends of Camp McDonald.

Michael holds a BA Honors in Military History as well as a MA Honors in Military History, Civil War Studies, from the American Military University, and remains a member of Pi Gamma Mu Honor Society and the Golden Key International Honour Society. Michael also writes a monthly Civil War blog and Twitter messages for the Georgia Department of Economic Development.