(There are a lot of pictures … continue reading and scrolling to the end)

Today I have had occasion to be in far southern Maryland for a convention event and came early in order to visit Point Lookout, Maryland. This is the point of land at the confluence of the Chesapeake Bay and Potomac River.

Point Lookout was used by the Union in the Civil War as the location of an enormous POW camp. Over 52,000 were held in this location in the latter stages of the War after Gettysburg. The conditions were very grim, and the combination of exposure and disease claimed a large host of lives.

Within the State Park is a museum, though I was disappointed to find it closed until around Memorial Day.

There is a Confederate burial ground with a large monument to the thousands interred there, with a small monument from the state of Maryland nearby. The monument contains 3,384 names, though many hundreds more have been identified who died here.

Just down the road is another monument and flag court of remembrance. This is on privately purchased land and has been erected in recent years by a group called “Descendents of Point Lookout POW Organization.” This memorial to Southern heritage and sacrifice stands as a result of anger and frustration by the sponsoring group. Their materials at the site and on their web page (http://confmemparkinc.plpow.com/) detail the grievances they have endured over a period of years – being shut out of establishing the type of honor they feel appropriate. Obviously, these are very deep feelings – inclusive of very rough and hostile viewpoints on Abraham Lincoln. I’ll not comment, but simply let them stand on their own merit, or otherwise.

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About Randy Buchman

I live in Western Maryland, and among my too many pursuits and hobbies, I regularly feed 3-4 hungry blogs. I played college baseball, coached championship cross country teams at Williamsport (MD) High School, and am the editor of a Baltimore/Maryland sports blog called "The Baltimore Wire." My main profession is as the lead pastor of a church in Hagerstown called Tri-State Fellowship. And I'm active in Civil War history and work/serve at Antietam National Battlefield with a Guides organization. Occasionally I sleep.

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