Point Lookout State Park
|Point Lookout State Park|
|Maryland State Park|
Point Lookout Confederate Cemetery Monument
|Elevation||0 ft (0 m) |
|Area||1,070 acres (433 ha) |
|Management||Maryland Department of Natural Resources|
|Website: Point Lookout State Park|
Captain John Smith explored the point in 1612. In 1634, the point was part of St. Michael's Manor, one of three manors granted to Leonard Calvert, Maryland's first proprietary governor. British raids took place here during both the American Revolution and the War of 1812. The Point Lookout Light, which still stands, was built here in 1830.
In 1862, during the American Civil War, much of the land around Point Lookout was transformed into a bustling port and temporary city of civilians and military personnel and numerous buildings, including a large army hospital, an army garrison at Fort Lincoln, and a Union prisoner of war camp to hold Confederate captives. Of the 50,000 soldiers held in the army prison camp, who were housed in tents at Lookout Point between 1863 and 1865, according to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, nearly 4,000 died, although this death rate of 8 percent was less than half the death rate among soldiers who were in the field with their own armies. The camp, originally built to hold 10,000 men, swelled to between 12,000 and 20,000 prisoners after the exchange of prisoners between armies was placed on hold. The result was crowded conditions with up to sixteen men to a tent in poor sanitary conditions. It was the largest Union-run prison camp, its reputation being one of the worst.
Today, a Confederate prisoner of war memorial and cemetery exist on the former grounds of the Point Lookout prisoner of war camp. The mass grave is marked by a pillar inscribed at its base with the names of the dead. The privately funded Confederate Memorial Park occupies a three-acre site next to the cemetery. Because of the extensive water erosion of the Chesapeake Bay shoreline in the last 150 years, half of the original site of the prisoner of war stockade has been obliterated and washed away by the bay.
Today, Point Lookout State Park retains Point Lookout Light, the original light house built in 1830, a fishing pier, boat launch facilities, public beaches and facilities, overnight camping, Civil War historical remains, and, reputedly, ghosts. The Civil War Museum/Marshland Nature Center has seasonal hours and is closed in winter.
In popular culture
The park is used as the setting in the Point Lookout add-on for the video game Fallout 3, which includes references to its use as a POW camp as well as various features of the park, including Calvert's manor and the lighthouse.
- U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Point Lookout State Park
- "FY2013 DNR Owned Lands Acreage Report". Maryland DNR. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
- "Point Lookout State Park". Maryland DNR. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
- "Point Lookout State Park". Chesapeake Bay Gateways Network. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
- "Point Lookout History". Maryland DNR. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
- Peter Himmelheber, Philip Davis, Linda Davis Reno (October 2002). "St. Mary's County, Maryland: Proprietary Manors". St. Mary's Families. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
- "Point Lookout Confederate Cemetery". U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
- "Point Lookout Prison Camp Records". University of Michigan. Archived from the original on February 26, 2005. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
- "Prison History". Descendants of Point Lookout POW Organization. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
- "Point Lookout Prisoner of War Camp". The American Civil War. mycivilwar.com. Retrieved December 26, 2013].
- Ken Stover. "Civil War Prison Camps". Civil War Academy.com. Retrieved December 26, 2013].
- Brenda Smelser Hay. "Point Lookout Prison in the Civil War". Retrieved December 26, 2013].
- "Point Lookout Confederate Cemetery". Find-a-Grave. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
- "Point Lookout Confederate Cemetery". Interment.net. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
- "Confederate Memorial Park". Confederate Memorial Park, Inc. Retrieved December 26, 2013.
- Brudvig, Erik (2009-05-19). "Aliens Invade Fallout 3". IGN. Retrieved 2009-05-19.
- Point Lookout State Park Maryland Department of Natural Resources