by Jim Hamilton


Shortly after the United States declared war on Germany in April of 1917, a group of Amherst residents, including townspeople, students, and college professors, enlisted in the U.S. Army to serve in an ambulance unit supporting French soldiers. Driving Model T and Fiat trucks, this unit, nicknamed the Black Cats of Amherst, served with distinction in France and Belgium during the last year of World War I. Jim Hamilton will describe their exploits using contemporary photographs, newspaper articles, diary accounts, letters, and quotes from their unit history.

Jim Hamilton is a graduate of Amherst College and the grandson of a Black Cat. He has published two books related to the Black Cats. The first is The Black Cats of Amherst and the second is We Unite to Serve: The Wartime Diaries of Reverend Stoddard Lane. For more information on Jim’s writing projects, see