Carroll County Times

Shriver offers family perspective on Civil War

James M. Shriver III, treasurer and past president of the Union Mills Homestead Foundation board of governors, will visit the Westminster branch of the Carroll County Public Library at 2 p.m. March 16 to talk about his recently published book.

In his book, "Pastime: Life & Love on the Homefront During the Civil War, 1861-1865," Shriver shares family history and reveals never-before-published materials from the Shriver archives.


Shriver said he believes the interesting perspective offered in the book comes from the fact that the Shriver family was divided during the Civil War years.

"Andrew K. Shriver was living in the Homestead [house] and operating the tannery business while [brother] William lived across the road and was operating the gristmill," he said. Andrew was Union, but William supported the Confederacy.


Shriver will talk about the reasons each brother embraced his Union or Confederate affiliation.

"They had sons in each army, and this led to heated political discussions throughout the Civil War. Then they had the soldiers show up at the front door [in Union Mills] during the Gettysburg battles," he said.

"Interestingly, the family living on the Homestead side were slave owners," Shriver said. "They had a son in the Union army. Across the road, the family taking the Southern side had no slaves and four sons in the Confederate army."

Shriver said it is fortunate that the Homestead Foundation kept the many diaries of both families, now housed in a collection at the Maryland Historical Society in Baltimore.

"Everything in the book is accurate and you will read the information just as it was written," Shriver said. "The editor gives great insights into who the people writing are and how they fit into the family. At times we have a father and his son's diaries side by side to compare."

Shriver said he believes those attending will learn a bit of local history, too, because the diaries revealed insight into people within the community, church activities, music they enjoyed and the books they read. "At the same time you learn about history you also learn about the social life and what it was like to live in that period," he said. "It is a window into our local history."

Books will be sold at the event and Shriver is available to autograph books.

The $22 softcover book came out in the spring of 2013 - the first book ever published by the Union Mills Homestead. It has more than 300 pages of information, with illustrations and photography.


At the library event, participants will be able to enjoy a cup of tea and cornmeal cookies made from cornmeal ground at the Union Mills Homestead mill.

All ages are welcome, but children 3 and younger must be accompanied by an adult caregiver.

For more information, visit or call 410-386-4490.

The library is at 50 E. Main St., Westminster.

Horse fair

Horse lovers can enjoy shopping at the annual Horse Fair Tack Sale to benefit the 4-H Therapeutic Riding Program of Carroll County. The event will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 15 inside the Shipley Arena at the Carroll County Agriculture Center.

The horse fair offers a room full of tack and horse items offered for sale by vendors. Look for an abundance of horse items. "In the past, we've had everything from trailers and sulkies to standard show clothes, boots, tons of tack, blankets, stable supplies, horse books and crafts, special authors and their books, and so much more," said Karen Scott, horse fair coordinator.

Kids can enjoy learning about and petting miniature horses from Valhalla Miniature Horse Farm and learning about draft horses from the Maryland Draft Horse and Mule Association.

There's no entrance fee to the fair.

Scott said this is the event's 16th year. Money raised from vendor space rentals benefits the 4-H Therapeutic Riding Program, helping to pay for horse care, feed, vet bills and other associated costs.

The High Ridge 4-H Club provides food for sale, including sandwiches, snacks, beverages and other goodies. Scott said the club donates its proceeds to the Therapeutic Riding Program. "Last year, they donated over $1,000," she said.

If you are an interested vendor, spaces are still available. A 10-by-12-foot space is $30, plus $10 for each additional space. For more information or to reserve a space, contact Karen at

To sign up for discount shots and/or a Coggins test, make a reservation now. Shots are administered on your horse trailer. Sign up or learn more by contacting Mary at or 443-465-7809.

The Ag Center is off Gist Road in Westminster.