3311 Littlestown Pike Westminster, MD 21158 410-848-2288
Civil War Encampment & Living History
-- Where Citizen Meets Soldier --
July 15-16, 2017
1863 in Carroll County, Maryland: Invasion and Retreat -- Join us at Union Mills to commemorate the events of 154 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 camped at Union Mills.
Union Mills’ Civil War Encampment will celebrate and commemorate the excitement of the Civil War in Carroll County, Maryland. The Union Mills Homestead Foundation, Inc. is pleased to host this event, recreating the period that culminated in the pivotal Battle of Gettysburg.In the days surrounding Lee’s Second Invasion of the North, small towns in Carroll County – including Union Mills – saw the movement of both Union and Confederate Armies, supply wagons, injured Soldiers, and an important skirmish occurred in nearby Westminster. There, Union Cavalry charged headfirst into Confederate Cavalry under the command of Maj. Gen. J.E.B. Stuart. But for a few hours, a battle may well have occurred at Union Mills, as it lay dead center in the Union Army’s defensive line along Big Pipe Creek and Union Mills served as the site of overnight encampments by both Stuart’s Confederate Cavalry and Sykes’ Fifth Corps of the Union Army. Stuart’s Cavalry pulled out of Union Mills just hours before the Union Army arrived! Tactical reenactments, encampments, living history portrayals, and historic displays interpreting this period will take place on the scenic and spacious grounds of the Union Mills Homestead.
Citizen Meets Soldier: Living History and Civil War Encampment
“Citizen Meets Soldier” is a living history of 1863 in Carroll
Join us as the exciting events of 1863 are remembered at Union Mills
-- Where Citizen Meets Soldier --
Civil War History
On the afternoon of June 29, 1863, a fierce cavalry battle erupted on the streets of nearby 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 rode 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 slept 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 Maj. Gen. George Sykes. Brig. 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.
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Last modified 02/18/2017