Capt. Charles Corbit might not be among the best-known heroes of Civil War hero.
Yet the Odessa resident played a key role in turning the tide of the war in the Union's favor by delaying J.E.B Stuart's arrival at the Battle of Gettysburg, which many historians cite as a pivotal factor in the Confederacy's ultimate defeat.
The Historic Odessa Foundation is hoping to raise Corbit's profile this summer by exhibiting a series of letters the local cavalryman exchanged with his wife, Louisa, during the war, titled "Dear Lou – Civil War Letters Home from Captain Charles Corbit."
The letters, which will remain on exhibit until Aug. 2, detail the harsh conditions experienced by the First Delaware Cavalry Regiment, frank commentary on politicians and military leaders and Louisa's heart-wrenching account of their only son's death in 1864.
In conjunction with the exhibit, military historian George Constant will present a lecture at 2 p.m. on June 2 that explores Corbit's role in helping to determine the outcome of the war by leading 90 men on a charge against Stuart's cavalry in Westminster, Md., on June 29, 1863.
Corbit, who took command for an inebriated colonel, was wounded in the skirmish and most of his regiment was captured, but the fight effectively held up Stuart long enough to affect the outcome at Gettysburg.
For more information about the lecture or to visit the "Dear Lou" exhibit, which also features Civil War-era artifacts and period dress, visit www.historicodessa.org, or contact Jennifer Cabell the foundation's executive assistant, by calling 302-378-4119.