Kevin Earl Dayhoff Art One-half Banana Stems

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Sunday, June 29, 2003

20030629 Berlin Mayor Dr. John William Pitts and Corbit’s Charge

20030629 Berlin Mayor Dr. John William Pitts and Corbit’s Charge

Dr. John William Pitts[1]

By Kevin Dayhoff © June 29th, 2003

The first Mayor of Berlin, Dr. John William Pitts, had a small role in Corbit’s Charge in Westminster Maryland on June 29th, 1863.

In 1863, young Private John William Pitts, from Worcester County, was serving in Company K 1st Va. Cavalry (almost all the men in Company K were from southern Maryland). Private Pitts had been attending the University of Virginia as a medical Student and enlisted in the Confederate Army.

The morning after the conflict, June 30th, 1863, Co. A of the 3rd Pa. Calvary came sweeping into town thinking that there was a continued substantial Confederate force still in town, when in reality there were only stragglers left behind. The morning began with the Union Forces firing a few artillery rounds across the town to lay the ground work for a clean-up operation. Private Pitts was one of 25 Confederates captured around 7:30 AM and imprisoned at Fort Delaware, just outside of Wilmington, Delaware and subsequently released. (He somehow later returned to duty.)

After the war, Dr. Pitts became prominent in Maryland in the medical field and later distinguished himself by becoming the first Mayor of Berlin, when Berlin formed in 1896. He also remained in the service, becoming a captain in the Maryland National Guard, and was vice president of the C. B. Taylor Banking Company. He served eight years on the Democratic Central Committee and reportedly voted the Democratic ticket all his life.[2]

[1] G. Thomas LeGore, phone interview, 29 April 2003

[2] “Men of Mark in Maryland”, Volume IV, B. F. Johnson, Inc. 1912, page 91.

20030629 Berlin Mayor Dr. John William Pitts and Corbit’s Charge