1930: Captain Charles Corbit


Socket bayonet that belonged to Captain Charles Corbit of Company C, First Delaware Cavalry. DHS Museum Collection/ Gift of Mrs. Eliza Corbit Lea

In the report of the President at the Annual Meeting held in the Old Town Hall on January 20th, 1930, a record is given of the presentation to the Society of the “Sword and Equipment of Captain Charles Corbit, and the flag carried by his Red Lion mounted Company, prior to the Civil War, by his daughter Mrs. Eliza Corbit Lea.”  The Society has a bayonet and a saddle holster  used by Corbit in the Civil War while he was Captain of Company C of the First Delaware Cavalry, known as the Red Lion Mounted Guards.  The company first formed on April 27th, 1861. Captain Corbit is perhaps best known for his attack of Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart’s cavalry troops on June 29th, 1863, known as “Corbit’s Charge”.  In an audacious maneuver, he led companies C & D of the First Delaware Cavalry  down Main Street in Westminster, Maryland toward a much larger Confederate force.  Although beaten back,  Corbit’s Charge delayed General Stuart from reaching Gettysburg until July 2nd, 1863, which was a significant factor in the Confederate Army’s defeat there.  Captain Corbit  survived the war and lived another 22 years. He died December 29, 1887 and is buried in a family plot in Odessa.

Captain Corbit’s Civil War Sword with Scabbard. DHS Museum Collection/ Gift of Mrs. Eliza Corbit Lea

Captain Corbit’s ancestor was an early 18th century Scotch Quaker named Daniel Corbit, who settled on a tract of land adjoining property of Richard Cantwell and Elias Naudin in the early 1700’s. The Corbits came to be associated with Odessa and Cantwell Bridge throughout the 19th century.  The three principal manor-houses in Odessa first owned by Cantwell,  Naudin, and Daniel Corbit were later all owned by Daniel Corbit’s grandson, also named Daniel.  After the Civil War, the manors were divided between John C.,  Daniel W. and Louisa Corbit, wife of Captain Charles Corbit of Red Lion Hundred.

Captain Corbit’s Saddle Holster. DHS Museum Collection/ Gift of Mrs. Eliza Corbit Lea

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