Point Lookout Prisoner-Of-War Camp
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member La de Boheme
N 38° 04.407 W 076° 20.519
18S E 382292 N 4214814
A memorial chronicles the largest and one of the worst Confederate POW camps of the Civil War.
Waymark Code: WM7AXW
Location: Maryland, United States
Date Posted: 09/28/2009
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member Turtle3863
Views: 9

Camp Hoffman was built by the Union on the peninsula of Point Lookout in 1863 to accommodate the growing influx of Confederate prisoners following the Battle of Gettysburg. It was designed to hold 10,000 prisoners, but the actual number of POWs doubled.

Conditions were inhumane. All prisoners lived in tents or shacks with no protection from the extreme heat in summer, the bitter cold in winter, or coastal storms. The camp was frequently flooded and drainage was poor leaving the prisoners soaked.

There was never enough fresh water or food. Since the camp sat near the Chesapeake Bay, prisoners sometimes were allowed to fish to supplement their meager rations, bathe, and wash their clothes in the Bay, but it was too alkaline for drinking. Fresh water had to be shipped in. A popular camp sport was catching rats which also supplemented diets and provided protein.

Disease became rampant due to the conditions. Chronic diarrhea, dysentery and typhoid fever became epidemic. Smallpox and scurvy were common.

Exactly two years after the prison had been established, the war ended and all prisoners were transferred out. During that two years, over 50,000 prisoners, military and civilian, men, women, and children, had passed through and over 3000 had died while incarcerated there. Mother Nature eventually reclaimed the land and the structures of the camp disappeared erasing evidence of its existence.

In 2003, a memorial plaza was erected near the POW Camp site. The focal point is a bronze statue of a Confederate prisoner standing atop a parapet which houses an iron cauldron used to cook food at the prison known as the Bean Pot. There are memorial bricks installed around the base. The walkway and circular plaza are lined with Confederate flags of the seceding states and actual first-hand accounts of prisoners inscribed on tablets. This plaza is also known as Confederate Memorial Park.


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