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Editorial

Westminster's place in history gets revisited this week as the city and local history enthusiasts commemorate Corbit's Charge with events in and around the downtown area.

Events are scheduled from Friday to Sunday, June 27-29, on Main Street and also along North Center Street, where an encampment will take place (see schedule, page 2).

For those new to the scene, Corbit's Charge notes the skirmish that occurred in June 1863 when J.E.B. Stuart and the Confederate cavalry division of the Army of Northern Virginia came into Westminster on their way to Gettysburg.

They were met by Capt. Charles Corbit and his vastly outnumbered men of the Delaware cavalry. A brief fight ensued at the corner of Main Street and the Washington Road. The Union forces were defeated, but the Confederates lost two men. The legend of Corbit's Charge was born.

Whether or not the event had any great military significance is a matter of some debate, but the commemoration of Westminster's moment in the Civil War is one that swells pride in historians and calls residents to learn more about the past -- and those are most certainly good things.

It's also a good thing that, during the early part of the summer, Westminster has occasion to host the events that draw local residents and visitors to Main Street for a weekend of education, festivity, music and family gatherings.

City officials and the Pipe Creek Civil War Roundtable, who collaborate to plan and host the Corbit's Charge commemoration, always offer a great variety of events, from music on the 1860s to a tent church service on Sunday morning.

It's also no small matter that every year the festivities seem to draw more people to Main Street, and that helps local merchants.

By many accounts, Corbit's Charge, lasted but a few minutes on the streets of Westminster, but it has become a celebration of local lore, community spirit and, in a way, Main Street commerce.

We wonder what Capt. Corbit would think of it all.


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