In 1965, 100 years after the Civil War, Maryland's State Forest & Park Service began the creation of Point Lookout State Park, comprising 1,046 acres. In the Park's Visitor Center there are exhibits which tell the Civil War story. At the time the Civil War started, Point Lookout was a popular summer resort with a hotel, about 100 cottages, a large wharf and a lighthouse. In 1862, the United States government, in need of a hospital for the Union troops, leased the Point Lookout area. Hammond General Hospital, built like the spokes of a wheel, received it's first Union army patients on August 17, 1862. Today, most of this hospital's remains are under the waters of the Chesapeake Bay. Early in 1863, the authorities ordered a small number of Confederate prisoners to be confined in the hospital grounds. Most of the prisoners were Southern Marylanders accused of helping the Confederacy. Soon after the Battle of Gettysburg, construction began on a rebel camp capable of holding 10,000 prisoners of war. The name of this camp became officially known as Camp Hoffman primarily for enlisted men. As the war progressed, additional prisoners were assigned to the camp. During September 1863, the prisoners totaled 4,000 and by December 9, of that year, over 9,000 men were imprisoned. As the war progressed and prisoner exchanges ceased, the camp became over-crowded with more than 20,000 prisoners. By the time the Civil War ended, over 52,000 prisoners had passed through its gates. A small section of the prison pen has been reconstructed where it once stood. During the prison operation, filth prevailed; wells became contaminated and men literally froze to death in tents. More than 4,000 men died. Three earthen walled forts were erected to protect the prison from Confederate invasion, one of which still partially remains and has been reconstructed -- Fort Lincoln.
Join t Fight
Donate today to preserve Civil War battlefields and the nation’s history for generations to come.