No aspect of the American Civil War left behind a greater legacy of bitterness and acrimony than the treatment of prisoners of war. - "The Civil War Concentration Camps," by Mark Weber, Institute for Historical Review
Another quick post covering the second part of our trip to Southern Maryland yesterday. Drove to Point Lookout State Park at the tip of St. Mary’s Peninsula. Not quite as nice as I imagined, but great water horizon views with the Chesapeake Bay on the left, the Potomac on the right, and the geeky knowledge that this spot marks the southern-most part of Maryland’s Western Shore.
The memorial includes flags, a statue, and historical and interpretive markers. The most moving aspect for us were the soldiers’ diaries inscribed on tablets that ring the memorial.
Beside the memorial park is the cemetery with a monument.
Some facts gleaned from the Descendents of Point Lookout POW Organization.
- Camp (Camp Hoffman) was established after the Battle of Gettysburg to incarcerate Confederate prisoners.
- In operation from August 1863 through June 1865.
- Largest Union prison camp for Confederates.
- 52,000 POWs.
- Prison conditions were deplorable.
- Estimated over 14,000 prisoners died at Pt. Lookout.