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The Battle of the Crater

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Publisher : Gerald Franz

Course Language : English

Course Description

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.