Death at Point Lookout

Death at Point Lookout (HM14Y9)

Location: Scotland, MD 20687 St Mary's County
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Country: United States of America
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N 38° 2.562', W 76° 19.29'

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It is hard to imagine this tranquil site as a place of sickness, suffering and death. Yet during the Civil War, five graveyards marked Point Lookout.

Why so many graves? In 1863, Union forces chose this isolated spot for a prisoner of war camp. Over 50,000 Confederate soldiers were confined here in tents and crude buildings. Crowded conditions, insufficient food, contaminated water and exposure to harsh weather inevitably led to disease.

Dysentery, tuberculosis and smallpox spread quickly in the over-crowded camp. Most of the men were from rural areas and had no previous exposure to these diseases. Ill-equipped hospital stewards tried to stem the contagion but could not cope. In just three years, over 4500 people were buried at Point Lookout.

Hallowed Grounds
Over 4500 men who answered the call to serve in the Civil War died at Point Lookout. Although all made a similar sacrifice, death did not bring them together. They were laid to rest in five different cemeteries: one for smallpox victims, one for Union Soldiers, one for African-American soldiers and two for Confederate prisoners of war. None of these graveyards exist today.

Horse-drawn wagons like this collected bodies of Confederate prisoners of war and carried them to open trenches where they were laid side by side, then covered with dirt. Later, the remains were removed elsewhere for proper burial.
HM NumberHM14Y9
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, October 1st, 2014 at 3:43pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18S E 384040 N 4211376
Decimal Degrees38.04270000, -76.32150000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 38° 2.562', W 76° 19.29'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds38° 2' 33.72" N, 76° 19' 17.40" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)301
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 10444 Point Lookout Rd, Scotland MD 20687, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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