||I am pleased to be associated with the
SAIL (Seniors Active
in Learning) program at Collin College in Plano, Texas.
Please click on the link to learn more about these classes.
|Please check out my class for the
2015 Spring Semester:
April 1865 -
This class will trace the last days of the Civil War using Jay Winik's
book, April 1865. The class will cover each day of the war
during that historic month including the collapse of Confederate defenses
around Petersburg, the flight of the Confederate government from Richmond,
Lee's desperate retreat to and surrender at Appomattox Court House,
Lincoln's assassination, and Booth's capture. [Spring 2015]
The Peninsular Campaign - The Peninsular Campaign, which includes
the Seven Days Battles, was a contest between General Robert E. Lee's
Army of Northern Virginia and General George McClellan's Army of the
Potomac. The campaign includes Hampton Roads, Gaines' Mill, and
Malvern Hill. [Unscheduled]
Grant Moves to the East - The battles in near Chattanooga marked
Grant's transition from the Western to Eastern theater of war.
The class will cover Chickamauga, GA (September 18-20, 1863) and
Chattanooga, TN (November 23-25, 1863). [Unscheduled]
The Overland Campaign - Grant engages Lee's Army of Northern
Virginia in a series of battles in the Overland Campaign. Among
the battles discussed will be the Wilderness, VA (May5-7, 1864),
Spotsylvania Court House, VA (May 8-21, 1864), and Cold Harbor, VA
(June 3-12, 1864). [Unscheduled]
Sheridan Triumphs and Hood Fails - This class will focus on
Sheridan's Valley Campaign including the battles of Opequon, VA on
September 19, 1864 and Cedar Creek, VA on October 19, 1864 and Hood's
disastrous Franklin-Nashville Campaign including the battles of
Franklin, TN on November 30, 1864 and Nashville, TN on December 15-16,
- From Fort Sumter to Appomattox Court House - This class is a
continuation of the class from
West Point to Fort Sumter.
We follow Union (Grant, McClellan, Sherman and Sheridan) and
Confederate (Lee, Jackson, Longstreet, and Stuart) generals during the
Civil War. [Unscheduled]
- After Appomattox Court House - The third class in the series on
Union (Grant, McClellan, Sherman and Sheridan) and Confederate (Lee
and Longstreet) generals. This class traces the lives of the
surviving generals following the end of the Civil War.
The Three Days of Gettysburg - This class will discuss the
three-days of the Battle of Gettysburg. The class will uses the the
film Gettysburg based on Michael Shaara's novel The Killer
Angels. The class will review battlefield animations and
examine the events of this historic battle. [Spring 2013]
Union Leadership Crises in the East - Following the failure
of the Peninsular Campaign, the command structure in the Eastern
Theater underwent several changes. The leadership of George McClellan,
John Pope and Ambrose Burnside is examined in the battles at Manassas
(Second Bull Run) - August 28-30, 1862, Antietam, MD - September
16-18, 1862, and Fredericksburg, VA - December 11-15, 1862.
Stonewall Jackson's Valley Campaign - The class covers
Jackson's Shenandoah Valley Campaign from March through May. The
battles discussed will include Kernstown I, Winchester I, Cross Keys,
Port Republic, and Front Royal.
Evaluation: 3.8 out of 4.
Comments: "An excellent use of visual
aids and power point." "Great presentation."
Union Victories in the West Turn the Tide - The class discusses
the battles at Fort Donelson, TN (February 11-16, 1862), New
Madrid/Island No. 10, MO (February 28-April 8, 1862), Shiloh, TN
(April 6-7, 1862), Glorieta Pass, NM (March 26-28, 1862), Forts
Jackson & St. Philip, LA (April 16-28, 1862), Pea Ridge, AR,
7-8, 1862), and Hampton Roads, VA (March 8-9, 1862).
Evaluation: 3.5 out of 4.
Comments: "Allen was great as always."
Another great job! Allen has a real solid interest and knowledge
of the Civil War." "The visuals were very well done and easily
The Armies Clash - First Bull Run and Wilson's Creek - The class
covers the battles at Manassas (First Bull Run), VA on July 21,
1861 and Wilson's Creek, MO on August 10, 1861.
Evaluation: 3.9 out 4. Comments:
"The instructor was well prepared and made excellent use of the media.
I enjoyed his sense of humor." "Allen does an excellent job of
teaching. He knows the Civil War and having visited so many of
the sites is able to give one the feeling of having been there."
From Springfield to Fort Sumter
- The class traces the events from Lincoln's election to the Union
response to the capture of Fort Sumter.
The Turning Point of the Civil War
- An analysis of the turning point(s) of the American Civil War.
Using statistics to identify the battles and campaigns that changed
the course of the Civil War.
The American Civil War
- The American Civil War (1861–1865), also known as the War
Between the States, was a civil war in the United States of America.
Eleven Southern slave states declared their secession from the United
States and formed the Confederate States of America, also known as "the
Confederacy." Led by Jefferson Davis, the Confederacy fought against the
United States (the Union), which was supported by all the free states
(where slavery had been abolished) and by five slave states that became
known as the border states. Comments: "An
excellent, well prepared, and very interesting course. One of
the very best history courses I've taken." "This was an
outstanding course. Mr. Mesch is very interesting to listen to.
I really appreciate his obvious enthusiasm on the subject."
The War of 1812 -
America's fragile neutrality between the British and French came to an
end with the war of 1812. The war was fought in three major
theaters: on the oceans, along the American coast, and on the broad
frontier along the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence River. The conflict
was fueled by America's efforts to gain world respect and expand its
borders. The war broke the confederation of Native Tribes,
produced American heroes such as Andrew Jackson, and gave birth to our
national anthem, "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Voices of the Civil War - The speeches, writings and music of the Civil War.
Comments: "Great information, interesting
presentation." "Allen did a wonderful job presenting the facts and
people. Questions he could not answer were research and answered the
Civil War Photography
- The American Civil War created photojournalism through such
photographers as Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner and Timothy
O'Sullivan. Nearly every Civil War soldier had his photograph
taken by one of the more than 5,000 American photographers. The
documentary photographers took thousands of images on the battlefields
and in the army camps to bring the horror of battle to the home front.
The class will examine the history of photography, and students will
put on glasses to view a new exhibit of 3D images.
Evaluation: 4 out 4.
Comments: "Super research on his part."
"Great content - both techniques, history of photography and
From West Point to Fort Sumter
- This class explores the development of future Union (Grant,
McClellan, Sherman and Sheridan) and Confederate (Lee, Jackson,
Longstreet, and Stuart) generals from plebes at West Point to the
beginning of the Civil War.
- The Next Fifty Years
- Explore forecasts of future developments over the next fifty years.
The class presents forecasts by leading
futurists concerning trends in business, technology, society and