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Civil War buffs to gather Saturday in Westminster for annual commemoration of Corbit’s Charge, a Civil War battle fought on Main Street

On Saturday, area history buffs will descend on Westminster for the annual commemoration of Corbit’s Charge, also known as the Battle of Westminster.

The battle took place on June 29, 1863 as part of the Gettysburg Campaign of the American Civil War. Saturday’s event commemorates “the tragedy of war that took place on Westminster’s streets,” according to the Pipe Creek Civil War Round Table, which organizes it.


Historical displays, infantry demonstrations, tours of historic sites, film screenings, a procession and gravesite services are planned throughout the day, beginning at 10 a.m.

“We have a little bit of everything for anyone who is interested in local history,” said Steven W. Carney, of Westminster, the event committee chairman. “The event is meant to be educational and raise awareness of Carroll County’s rich Civil War history.”


According to the group’s website, the Battle of Westminster included 108 Union troops from companies C and D of the 1st Delaware Cavalry clashing against 5,000 Confederate Cavalry troops under the command of J.E.B. Stuart at the Junction of Washington Road and Main Street. It was named Corbit’s Charge after Capt. Charles Corbit, “who bravely led the Union troopers into the fight. Although the battle was a Confederate victory, this act of ‘suicidal bravery’ on the part of the inexperienced and outnumbered Union troopers helped to impede J.E.B. Stuart’s ability to link up with the Confederate infantry in Pennsylvania. This was a contributing factor in the Union Victory at the battle of Gettysburg,’” according to the Pipe Creek Civil War Round Table website.

This year marks the 20th commemoration of the battle. The first event was held in 2003, a combined effort of the City of Westminster, the Pipe Creek Civil War Round Table, the Historical Society of Carroll County, and other groups, Carney said. Since that original event, it has been held in several locations and has taken a variety of forms, he added.

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This year, attendees can look forward to a activities for visitors of all ages. For children, an activity booklet and junior historian program will be available, along with many hands-on activities, Carney said.

Historical displays will include artifacts and weapons, uniforms and artillery. Local artisans will have wares for sale. Jeff Leister, known as “the Tin Man,” will bring his tinware and Rick Barrick , “The Log Cabin Caner,” will have his chair caning products on offer.

The 1st Maryland Artillery and the 3rd Maryland Infantry will help to “bring history alive” through infantry demonstrations. Film screenings will include “The Road to Gettysburg” and a new documentary on Corbit’s Charge.

A memorial service is planned at the Corbit’s Charge Monument near the courthouse to “recognize the sacrifice of the Civil War-era civilians of Westminster as well as the soldiers of both the Union and Confederate Armies,” according to the round table’s website. The service concludes at the graveyard of Westminster’s Ascension Episcopal Church, 23 N. Court St., with the laying of wreaths on the graves of two Civil War veterans, 1st Lt. John Murray, a Confederate killed during Corbit’s Charge, and Samuel Butler, Co. C 32nd Inf. U.S.C.T. , of the Union Army.

“We are also proud to have representatives from the Ellsworth Cemetery to discuss its history and their efforts to preserve it,” Carney noted.

Ellsworth Cemetery is a historic Black cemetery in Westminster, created on Dec. 21, 1876 when six Black Union Army veterans sought to provide a burial place “for the Colored residents of Westminster, Maryland,” according to the Community Foundation of Carroll County. The cemetery contains about 200 graves.


The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday, and will be centered at Westminster City Hall, 1838 Emerald Hill Lane. For more information about the event, go to