Civil War Institute – Fall 2021

We’re back to virtual! 

Live Classroom Sessions did not work out so well, so we are back to the convenient and easy virtual Zoom classes!

As we have done since the outset of these curious times, we will send out the Zoom link with the reminder that typically goes out within 24 hours of the start of class. Stay safe and God Bless you all!

To mark this occasion, we have an outstanding variety of fascinating courses to offer at Manor’s Jenkintown campus. 


“The Beast of New Orleans”: The Life of Ben Butler – 1 day (2 hrs) — Benjamin F. Butler, a brilliant lawyer, Massachusetts politician and Union general, fought for the rights of workers and African-Americans. After a few terms in the state legislature, Butler became a Union Army officer when the Civil War began. Known more as an administrator than a combat commander, Butler’s war years were marked with controversy. When the war ended, he became a Radical Republican and a leader in the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson. 

Instructor: Walt Lafty

Fee: $30

Date: Monday, September 13

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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West Point Classmates in the Civil War – NEW – 1 day (2 hrs) – Among the thousands of men who fought in the Civil War, a select few formed a unique fraternity. Though they came from very different backgrounds, these men had in common the military training they had received at an elite school that transformed them from boys into the kind of men who would become heroes and legends. These men were West Point classmates and Civil War enemies. 

Instructor: Mike Jesberger

Fee: $30

Date: Thursday, September 23

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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When the War Was Anything but Civil – NEW – 3 nights (6 hrs) — Guerrillas, bushwhackers, irregulars and rangers are but a few of the names of those who tried to strike fear into their enemies’ hearts and minds, but their actions are largely unknown and rarely brought to light. Terrorism is not a modern invention; it existed well before there was a name for it. The Civil War saw attempts at sabotage, altering election results, poisoning a city’s water supply, arson, even biological warfare. Some of these activities may shock you, but in war, winning is all that matters. We will explore controversial individuals, the influence of their raids and attacks, and what impact they actually had on the war’s outcome. 

Instructors: Herb Kaufman and Hugh Boyle

Fee: $80

Dates: Wednesdays, October 20 and 27 and November 3

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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Fighting Regiments from Philadelphia – The Top 10 – NEW – 1 day (2 hrs) – Nearly 100 military units were recruited, trained and mustered in Philadelphia. Research into their battle records, casualty figures, decorations and reports has produced the 10 most illustrious regiments that fought to preserve the Union and freedom. 

Instructor: Andy Waskie

Fee: $30

Date: Saturday, November 6

Time: 10 a.m. to 12 noon

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Collateral Damage of the Lincoln Assassination – 1 night (2 hrs) – On Good Friday in April 1865. Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theater in Washington. On the same night, William Seward was attacked and nearly killed in his bed. But Lincoln and Seward weren’t the only victims. The assassination brought about suicides, failed health, and families torn apart – all because of some distant ties to those directly involved. It’s a story you won’t find in history textbooks today. 

Instructor: Hugh Boyle

Fee: $30

Date: Wednesday, November 17

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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History Institute Fall 2021

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and the Hessians – NEW – 1 night (2 hrs) – The residents of Sleepy Hollow believed the Headless Horseman was the ghost of a Hessian soldier sent to the Colonies to help put down the rebellion. What is the true story behind this macabre tale from early American literature? Join us for a program on one of America’s oldest short stories, based on real events that took place in New York’s Hudson Valley during the American Revolution. 

Instructor: Mike Jesberger

Fee: $30

Date: Thursday, October 28

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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Et Tu, Brute? The Assassination of Julius Caesar. – 1 night (2 hrs.) – On the Ides Martiae, 710 AUC – better known as the Ides of March 44 BC – Caius Julius Caesar was assassinated by a group of Roman senators. What precipitated this history-changing event? This class will examine the character of Caesar and the atmosphere in Rome before and after the assassination and the impact on the Roman Republic.

Instructor: Pat Caldwell

Fee: $30

Date: Monday, Nov. 8

Time: 6:30-8:30 pm

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The Frontier in Flames – NEW – 1 night (2 hrs)

Western Pennsylvania may have been the Commonwealth’s “back country,” but it was center-stage in the American theater of Europe’s Seven Years War. French and Indian raids on the English settlements sparked political conflicts back east between the Quaker assembly and the Penn-backed governor. In Virginia, a young officer named George Washington played a major role in Virginia’s response to the raids. 

Instructor: Tom Donnelly

Fee: $30

Date: Monday, November 29

Time: 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

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A History of Ireland in Rebellion: An Island of Two Countries & the Struggle for One Union – NEW – 1 night (2 hrs) – The struggle for Irish independence has gone on for over 800 years. This course will cover the six historic rebellions mentioned in the 1916 Proclamation of the Easter Rising, as well as such crucial turning points in Irish history as the Ulster Plantation and Protestant Ascendancy of the 17th century, the Penal Codes, the Act of Union, Catholic Emancipation, Home Rule, the War of Independence, the Civil War, and the “Troubles” of the 20th century. It will conclude with the Good Friday Agreement of 1998. 

Instructor: Walt Lafty

Fee: $30

Date: Saturday, December 4

Time: 10 a.m. to 12 noon

Click here to register