Scotland in St. Mary's County, Maryland — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Death at 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.
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
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.
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. Touch for map. This marker is located on the grounds of Point Lookout State Park. 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.
Categories. • War, US Civil •
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 26, 2017. This page originally submitted on October 14, 2012, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 494 times since then and 16 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.