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Our Book

Pastime: Life & Love on the Homefront
During the Civil War, 1861-1865

Edited by Helen Drury Macsherry
for the Union Mills Homestead Foundation

Pastime bookLocated at an important crossroads in rural Carroll County, Maryland, two Shriver families lived across the road from one another in the 1860s, one family operating a grist mill, the other a tannery. At the outset of war in 1861, the Shrivers of Union Mills, headed by two brothers born six years apart, were divided by more than just a country road. Pastime: Life & Love On The Homefront During the Civil War, 1861-1865 presents a behind-the-scenes look at Maryland rural life during the Civil War, recording the lives of two families united in love, but divided by war.

A project of the Union Mills Homestead Foundation, Pastime uses many never-before-published materials from the vast Shriver family archives. It shifts the focus from the battlefield to the homefront, using first-person accounts found in the diaries and letters of the Shriver family. These original sources take the reader on a journey back in time, revealing the thoughts and feelings expressed by a family torn by a nation in crisis.

Pastime offers a closer look at the daily life of the Shrivers, giving the reader a better understanding of how “life must go on” even as war rages nearby. Beyond life’s everyday tasks, and the web of family and community connections, there is the stark division in loyalties between North and South, and the arrival of Armies of both sides in late June 1863 in the lead-up to the Battle of Gettysburg. Editor and Shriver descendant Helen Drury Macsherry, working with the Foundation’s Curator Committee, has provided an invaluable work commemorating the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War that both the general reader and the historian will find fascinating and informative. As described by Edward C. Papenfuse, Maryland’s well-regarded retired State Archivist, Pastime “provides a remarkable insight into the day-to-day world of an industrious and hardworking American family in  a region of the country torn by allegiances to slavery, state’s rights, and Union.”

Pastime: Life & Love on the Homefront During the Civil War, 1861-1865
Edited by Helen Drury Macsherry
ISBN: 978-0-9891408-0-5 / paperback / 362 pages

(Plus $5.00 shipping & handling per book and 6% Maryland sales tax.)
Proceeds benefit the Union Mills Homestead Foundation, Inc.

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Union Mills Homestead
3311 Littlestown Pike
Westminster, MD 21158