3311 Littlestown Pike Westminster, MD 21158 410-848-2288
Corbit’s Charge - Union Mills 1863
Carroll County Civil War Sesquicentennial
June 28-29-30, 2013
1863 in Carroll County, Maryland: Invasion and Retreat -- Join us in Westminster and Union Mills to commemorate the events of 150 years ago, in the wake of the Second Invasion of the North. Walk in the footsteps of the citizens of Carroll County Maryland and the Soldiers of both sides who encamped in Union Mills.
“Corbit’s Charge-Union Mills 1863” will celebrate and commemorate the excitement of 1863 during the weekend of June 29-30, 2013. The Union Mills Homestead Foundation, Inc. has joined with the Corbit’s Charge Commemorative Committee in planning for this celebration, which will take place amidst the lead-up to the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg the next weekend.
On Friday evening, June 28, 2013, the celebrations kick off in Westminster, Maryland with a ceremony at the Battle Monument in Westminster, and a commemoration at the nearby graveyard where those killed during the Corbit’s Charge cavalry battle were buried. Walking tours of the Corbit’s Charge Battle Site will be available that evening.
On Saturday and Sunday, June 29-30, 2013, the celebration will move to Union Mills, following the route taken by Confederate Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart and his Cavalry. The events on the scenic and spacious grounds of the Union Mills Homestead will include commemorations, Civil War reenactments and encampments, musical celebrations, and living history portrayals and displays.
J.E.B. Stuart’s Pancake Breakfast
Citizen Meets Soldier: Living History and Civil War Encampment
Soldier” is a living history of 1863 in Carroll County, Maryland.
Civil War Ball
Federal City Brass Band Concert
Join us as the Exciting Events of 150 Years Ago are remembered in Westminster and Union Mills
Corbit’s Charge - Union Mills 1863
County Civil War Sesquicentennial
150th Anniversary: History
On the afternoon of June 29, 1863, a fierce cavalry battle erupted on the streets of Westminster, Maryland. A column of thousands of Confederate Cavalry under the command of Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, accompanied by two batteries of horse artillery, had splashed across the Potomac River the day before, in an attempt to circle around the Union Army. As General Robert E. Lee and the rest of the Confederate Army marched across Western Maryland into Pennsylvania, Stuart and his Confederate Cavalry rode into Westminster on the Washington Road.
In Westminster, the Confederates encountered a stubborn resistance from 108 troopers from the 1st Delaware Cavalry, under the command of Capt. Charles Corbit. Corbit and his men fought with “an almost suicidal bravery,” initially pushing back the rebel column. The battle surged back and forth, but Corbit’s Cavalrymen were eventually overwhelmed by the much larger number of Confederates. Corbit was captured and his unit sustained over 50% casualties (killed, wounded, or captured). The Battle of Westminster, also known as Corbit’s Charge, was one factor in Stuart’s delayed arrival at Lee’s Headquarters late on July 2, 1863, after the Battle of Gettysburg was joined, perhaps altering the outcome of what was to become the pivotal battle of the Civil War.
In the aftermath of the fighting in Westminster, the weary Confederate Cavalry marched north to Union Mills, located at an important crossroads between Westminster and Gettysburg. Here, two brothers lived on either side of the Littlestown Pike – divided not just by the road, but by the war itself. One brother supported the North, the other the South. In Union Mills, the Confederates rested for the night along the Big Pipe Creek, while their horses grazed in the lush fields nearby. That night, Brig. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee rested under an apple tree in A.K. Shriver’s orchard, as the Cavalrymen were fed from the home’s kitchen. The next morning, June 30, 1863, Stuart and his officers were treated to as fine a meal as the southern-sympathizing William Shriver family could muster. Later in the morning, Stuart and his Cavalry departed Union Mills, led to Hanover, Pennsylvania by William Shriver’s son, T. Herbert.
Within a matter of hours, another column of soldiers arrived in Union Mills, this time the Union V Corps, under the command of Gen. George Sykes. Gen. James Barnes, a division commander, made the A.K. Shriver Homestead his headquarters, and slept in the old Homestead that night. Among the units that camped in the area was the 20th Maine, under Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain. In just a few days, Chamberlain and his unit would achieve fame on the slopes of Little Round Top. Early on July 1, 1863, the Union Army broke camp and marched away from Union Mills to their destiny on the fields of Gettysburg.
- Tom LeGore
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Last modified 07/02/2013