- Introduction and Background
- The Tunnel Idea
- Digging the Tunnel
- Attack Plans
- Explosion and Attack
- Confederate Counterattack
- Official Inquiries
- Oral Quiz
This short course describes one of the most unusual and ironic battles of the American Civil War. The Battle of the Crater took place on July 30, 1864 outside Petersburg, Virginia. What should have been a stunning breakthrough and victory turned out to be a catastrophic defeat. This course also displays many leaders at their very worst, and also, some leaders at their best.
The course begins with a short introduction to set the context for the battle. Then the lectures focus on the Union effort to secretly dig a tunnel beneath the Confederate lines, and plant tons of explosives underneath. The explosion of this mine should open the way through the lines and break the stalemate outside the city of Petersburg.
In this course, students will find out what happened instead, including a lot of errors that compounded as the battle ensued. In the last lectures, there will be a conclusion, an epilogue, and a short oral quiz.
The course is intended for those High School age and up, and requires just the ability to view and hear video lectures, and perhaps a word processor for the bibliography at the end of the course. There are nine lectures, and the time to complete the lectures is only about one hour.
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Dr. Franz has been teaching history for 34 years in various colleges, and sometimes to high school students. He has written a number of historical dramas for his history students, and after one season's performance, he received a letter of commendation from former president George Bush, Sr. for making history alive to students today. He has also taken history students on a number of field trips to various important historical locations. He hopes to continue putting short history courses on Udemy in order to share his favorite historical events. He currently teaches many online history courses for various universities, along with various live classes in his area.
He has been married since 1983 to Wendy, and they have a son and daughter, both adults. In their spare time, they love to walk, jog, swim, and ride their bikes.