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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Scotland in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Death at Point Lookout

 
 
Death at Point Lookout Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, March 11, 2012
1. Death at Point Lookout Marker
Inscription.  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
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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.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: War, US Civil. A significant historical year for this entry is 1863.
 
Location. 38° 2.562′ N, 76° 19.29′ W. Marker is in Scotland, Maryland, in St. Mary's County. Marker is on Maryland Route 5. This marker is located on the grounds of Point Lookout State Park. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Scotland MD 20687, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Smallpox Epidemic (here, next to this marker); A Seaside Resort at Point Lookout (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Place of History (about 400 feet away); "Contraband" Camp (about 500 feet away); Point Lookout-Hammond Hospital (approx. 0.2 miles away); John Wilkes Booth (approx. 0.2 miles away); Point Lookout State Park (approx. 0.2 miles away); A Crucial Point (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Scotland.
 
Death at Point Lookout Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Pete Payette, June 19, 2017
2. Death at Point Lookout Marker
Death at Point Lookout Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, March 11, 2012
3. Death at Point Lookout Marker
Horse-drawn Wagons image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, January 7, 2013
4. Horse-drawn Wagons
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.
Close-up of photo on marker
Cemeteries at Point Lookout image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, January 7, 2013
5. Cemeteries at Point Lookout
Close-up of image on marker
Sullivan Ballou Letter image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Allen C. Browne, January 7, 2013
6. Sullivan Ballou Letter
“A Pure Love of my country … called upon me, and I have obeyed" -- Excerpt of a letter from Sullivan Ballou to his wife, 1861.”
Close-up of sidebar on marker
Death at Point Lookout Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Don Morfe, March 11, 2012
7. Death at Point Lookout Marker
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 26, 2017. It was originally submitted on October 14, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 812 times since then and 38 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on October 14, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland.   2. submitted on June 26, 2017, by Pete Payette of Orange, Virginia.   3. submitted on October 14, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland.   4, 5, 6. submitted on January 23, 2017, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland.   7. submitted on October 14, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 20, 2024