Spring 2021

In an effort to ensure the safety of all, all sessions for the foreseeable future now be conducted through Zoom. Upon registration, patrons will be sent a link with a password that will enable them to access the course. A reminder email will be sent again within 24 hours of the start of the class.

Civil War Institute

Brilliance and Tragedy:  The Saga of H.L. Hunley – NEW – 

On Feb. 17, 1864, the Confederate submarine H.L. Hunley left Charleston Harbor and sank a blockading Union warship.  Soon after sending the U.S.S. Housatonic to the bottom, the submarine also sank. The wreck’s location was a mystery until 1995, when a team of divers sponsored by writer Clive Cussler discovered the nearly-intact Hunley.  It was raised and carefully excavated. The skeletons of all eight crew members were removed, studied, and reburied at Magnolia Cemetery with full military honors. 

Instructor:  Mike Jesberger
Date: Thursday, Feb. 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Fee: $30 –click here

Road to Ruin, March to Glory  –  4 hours – 

“It surely was a strange event, two hostile armies marching in opposite directions, each in the full belief if was achieving a final and conclusive result in a great war.” Thus said William Tecumseh Sherman of the 1864 campaigns that followed the fall of Atlanta.  John Bell Hood marched northwest in a quixotic attempt to capture Nashville.  All he managed to do was shatter his own army.  Sherman marched southeast to Savannah in his legendary March to the Sea. The Georgia march was destructive, but the early 1865 march through the Carolinas was even more devastating. 

Instructor:  Jerry Carrier
Special offer – take one or the other session for $30 or both for only $55! 
Dates:  Wednesday, Feb. 24 (Hood’s campaign)
Time: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Fee:  $30 – click here

—-   OR  ——-

Dates:  Saturday, March 6 (Sherman’s campaign)
Time: 10 a.m.-noon.
Fee: $30 – click here

—-   OR  ——-

Both Road to Ruin, March to Glory sessions:

Dates:   Feb. 27 (Hood’s campaign) & March 6 (Sherman’s campaign)
Times: 6:30-8:30 pm & 10am to noon.
Fee:  Special price for combining both classes:  only $55  – click here

POTUS and SCOTUS: Lincoln and the Supreme Court – NEW 2 hours – 

Most Civil War scholars know that Abraham Lincoln had to cope with a major rebellion, a fractious Congress and less-than-competent generals.  Less known are the barriers posed by a pro-Southern Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Roger B. Taney, author of the infamous Dred Scott decision.  On the plus side, Lincoln made a lasting impact on the court with the justices he appointed during his term.

Instructor:  Hugh Boyle
Date:  Wednesday, April 21, 6:30 p.m.
Fee: $30 – click here


History Institute 

How We Became a Nation: British Southern Strategy and the American Revolution – NEW  –2 hours –  

In 1778, the British implemented a plan to march north from Georgia, capture the coastal cities, and turn control of the Southern states to Loyalists.  While initially successful, the South entered a civil war, with Patriots confronting Loyalists, as the British became entangled in chasing the American Army in a series of long marches and demoralizing battles.  The final defeat of this British campaign created our new nation.

Instructor: Herb Kaufman
Date: Thursday, March 11, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Fee: $30 – click here

The Battle and Siege of Fort Mifflin: Defense of the Delaware – NEW – 2 hours – 

Fort Mifflin, commissioned in 1771, sits on Mud Island on the Delaware River near Philadelphia International Airport.  During the Revolution, the British bombarded and captured the fort in the fall of 1777 as part of their conquest of Philadelphia. What happened here in 1777 may well have changed American history, but few people are aware of these events. During the six-week siege, 450 American troops had to defend against 2,000 British and Hessian troops, a large fleet of ships and 228 cannon.

Instructor:  Mike Jesberger
Date: Monday, March 15, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Fee: $30 – click here

Crimea:  The First Modern War – NEW – 2 hours – 

This 1853-56 conflict had many military firsts and names that became famous, including Florence Nightingale, Leo Tolstoy and Alfred Lord Tennyson’s immortal tribute to “The Charge of the Light Brigade.” It saw several firsts – use of the electric telegraph, full coverage by news correspondents, and the deadly Minié ball.  U.S. Secretary of War Jefferson Davis sent a commission to observe the conflict and recommend innovations in our military.  Did the findings of this commission, led by Maj. Richard Delafield and including young Captain George B. McClellan, have an impact on the American Civil War a decade later?  

Instructor:  Walt Lafty
Date: Thursday, March 25, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Fee:  $30 – click here

The Neshaminy Encampment and Washington’s Headquarters at Moland House – NEW – 

In most histories, the Neshaminy encampment is glossed over.  It lasted 13 days, August 10-23, 1777, and was the third-longest encampment in Pennsylvania, exceeded only by Whitemarsh and Valley Forge.  Neshaminy is where the Marquis de Lafayette officially assumed his command, Count Casimir Pulaski was introduced to George Washington, and Betsy Ross’s flag is said to have been flown for the first time.  This class will include period maps and eyewitness accounts of events that led to the encampment, as well as the logistics involved in keeping the encampment operational for two weeks before the Battle of Brandywine.

Instructor:  Mike Jesberger
Date: Thursday, April 8, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Fee: $30 – click here

Snooping, Prying and Spying – NEW – 8 hours – 

This four-part series will explore the role of espionage in American military operations, from the Revolutionary War through today.

Part 1: The American Revolution

Espionage was critical to the success of American struggles to defeat the British. George Washington relied on a vast spy network and personally designed battle plan deceptions and counterintelligence efforts. The British also had their own spy network including many Loyalists, Dr. Benjamin Church and Benedict Arnold. From the Culper Spy Ring and Nathan Hale to invisible ink and secret codes, a web of deception will be explored.

Instructor: Herb Kaufman
Date: Monday, April 26 at 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Fee: $30 – click here

Part 2: The Civil War

This was America’s first war in which significant numbers of women became spies.  They disguised themselves as men, feigned idiocy, and used their “feminine charms” to obtain secrets.  Men started the first Bureau of Military Intelligence, developed codes, and assumed other identities.  Some were caught and hanged, some just disappeared into history, while others penned memoirs of their exploits and adventures.

Instructor: Herb Kaufman
Date: Monday, May 3 at 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Fee: $30 – click here

Part 3:  World War II

The underground warfare of espionage, sabotage, disinformation, spies, codes and code-breakers played a critical role in World War. Learn about General Patton’s “Ghost Army,” the “Man Who Never Was,” Germany’s most wanted spy, and the man called “Intrepid.”  How did Goldeneye, Fortitude and Quicksilver help to fool the Nazis? Who were the “Limping Lady,” the “White Rabbit,” and “Tricycle”?

Instructor: Herb Kaufman
Date: Monday, May 10 at 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Fee: $30 – click here

Part 4: From the Cold War to Today

Beginning with the atomic age and the Manhattan Project, numerous Americans have betrayed America’s secrets and damaged national security. America has remained particularly vulnerable to espionage because society cannot believe that those entrusted with the nation’s secrets would betray us. Foreign spies have also masqueraded as average Americans and leading citizens. Yet trusted FBI agents, scientists and highly placed CIA agents have also betrayed their country.

Instructor: Herb Kaufman
Date: Monday, May 17 at 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Fee: $30 – click here

—-  OR —-

All four Snooping, Prying and Spying sessions for only $105!

With: Herb Kaufman
Date:  Mondays, April 26, May 3, 10, 17
Times:  6:30-8:30 p.m.
Fee:  $105 for the four-night series – click here to register