Bruce "Early" Leith, president of the Eclipse Base… (Courtesy Eclipse Base Ball…)
The Mechanicsburg Nine of Pennsylvania will face the Elkton Eclipse Base Ball Club in a circa-1860s-style twi-night doubleheader on Saturday as one of the feature attractions of this year's Corbit's Charge Commemorative Weekend encampment in Westminster.
The annual Union and Confederate encampment, which recalls the Civil War battle in Westminster, will be held Friday through Sunday on the grounds of 224 N. Center St.
The two ball games — organized by the National Association of Base Ball Players, a group that preserves baseball as it was played in the 1800s — will be held there as well; the first beginning at 3 p.m. Saturday, and the second at 6 p.m.
The games will be played under the rules of 1864: Team members play in an open field, not a diamond. They wear period uniforms and use balls and bats, but no gloves.
The rules also require them to, "behave like gentlemen and … not swear or argue."
The games are free and open to all. However, a donation of a non-perishable food item to Carroll Food Sunday is requested. People attending may bring a blanket or a chair for comfort.
The Eclipse Base Ball Club is the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Maryland State Champions and the 2009 Mid-Atlantic league champions in the vintage baseball movement.
Recalling a street battle
The Civil War encampment for the Corbit's Charge weekend will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday and conclude at 4 p.m. Sunday.
The encampment will have cavalry and infantry drills, artillery demonstrations, artisan demonstrations, camp peddlers, period children's games and activities, living history speakers and historical displays.
Also, 45-minute guided walking tours of the battle site along Main Street will occur both days.
A parade from the encampment to the wreath-laying ceremonies at the Corbit's Charge Monument and grave of Lt. John William Murray, in Ascension Cemetery, will be held 12:45 p.m. Saturday. Murray, a casualty of Corbit's Charge, was a member of Company E of the 4th Regiment of the Virginia Cavalry.
Other special events include a Soldiers Mission Breakfast, Saturday, 7 to 10 a.m., at Westminster United Methodist Church, 162 E. Main St., at which visitors can meet and talk with reenactors. Cost is $6 adults; $3 children 3 to 10; free for ages 2 and under.
Then, on Sunday at 10 a.m., there will be a Civil War-style tent church service at the encampment grounds. All are invited.
The weekend commemorates the June 29, 1863, battle in the streets of Westminster. Though overwhelmed by Gen. J.E.B. Stuart's Confederate troops, the tenacity of Union Capt. Charles Corbit and the men of Companies C and D of the First Delaware Cavalry in Westminster may have played a role in delaying the arrival of Stuart at Gettysburg until July 2, 1863.
Admission to all events is free, although donations will be accepted to help with expenses.
Free parking is available at the encampment and across Center Street at the County Office Building.
For information on the Corbit's Charge Weekend, contact Stan Ruchlewicz at 410-848-5294 or email email@example.com.
Also, go to http://www.pccwrt.org/Corbits_Charge.htm for the full schedule of events.