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3311 Littlestown Pike  star_red.gif (99 bytes)  Westminster, MD 21158  star_red.gif (99 bytes)  410-848-2288

Civil War Encampment & Living History

-- Where Citizen Meets Soldier --

July 21-22, 2018

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.

Schedule of Events

 -- Where Citizen Meets Soldier --

Citizen Meets Soldier: Living History and Civil War Encampment

“Citizen Meets Soldier” is a living history of 1863 in Carroll County, Maryland.
Walk in the footsteps of citizens divided in their loyalties and the Union and Confederate Soldiers
who camped along Big Pipe Creek in the days prior to Gettysburg.
Park Entrance Fees ($10/car) include:

  • Living History Reenactments

  • Civil War Encampment

  • House and Mill Walk-through tours

  • Artillery, Infantry, and Cavalry drills & skirmishes

  • Civil War Religious Service (Sunday 10 a.m.)

Detailed Schedule for 2018

Saturday, July 21st 2018:

9:00    Grounds Open

10:00  Send-off to Confederate Cavalry
           / Music and civilian interpretation on the Homestead’s porch

11:00   Meet the Generals
            / including Musical Program with Fife and Drum and
           “When This Cruel War is Over,” on the porch

12:00  Skirmish (meadow below the Mill)

2:00    Artillery Drill

2:30    Music with Fife and Drum in the lower gardens.

3:00    Historic Shriver Graveyard / Civilians at Gettysburg (in the Tannery)

           Speaker: Linda Clark, licensed battlefield guide and author

4:00    Grounds Close

7:00    Civil War Barn Dance (Included with Park Admission)

9:15    Twilight Cannonade  

Sunday, July 22nd 2018:

9:00     Grounds Open

10:00   Period Religious Service (in the Tannery)

11:00   Pipe Creek Reconnaissance Report (Between House and Mill)

12:00   Send-off to the Union Army
            / Brig. Gen. Barnes and Music on the porch
            including “When This Cruel War is Over”

12:30   Skirmish (meadow below the Mill)

1:30     Meet the Generals
           (Meet Brig. Gen. James Barnes & Staff in their camp
            along the millrace, past the comfort station)

3:00    Camp Breakdown begins  

On Saturday and Sunday, please visit the encampments on the grounds, stroll the gardens and enjoy walk-through tours of the house and mill. 

On Sunday, in the lower garden by the Tannery, there will be a carding and spinning demonstration for you to visit.


Civil War Dance

Saturday, 7 pm–9 pm

Union Mills Homestead

Featuring Period Dancing; Period attire Admired, not Required 

Lots of jigs, reels and old-time tunes; dances will be taught

Concluding Artillery Twilight Fire: 9:15 p.m.

Admission included with Park Admission,

or as a separate ticket at $5 per person
[email protected] or call for details)

Join us as the exciting events of 1863 are remembered at Union Mills

Union Mills Civil War History

-- Where Citizen Meets Soldier --

Brief 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.



Photos from previous encampments



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Last modified 07/16/2018