Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania
After returning from our side trip to Florida, we re-visited the Gettysburg National Military Park and did the audio driving tour of the area. I highly recommend this to anyone who visits. There are nearly 1400 monuments erected across the plains and forests of the battlefield. Descriptions of them can be found at stonesentinels.com.
Point Lookout State Park, Maryland
We drove 219 miles from Mountain Creek Campground, PA south to Point Lookout State Park in Maryland. Even though it’s south (and we’re ultimately trying to head north), the reason we chose this spot is that it had site availability (and full hookups) for the 4th of July and both weekends on either side of it. It’s also fitting as a next stop after Gettysburg because this is where all the prisoners of war from the Gettysburg battle were brought. It was the site of the largest Civil War prisoner of war facility.
The Point is located between Chesapeake Bay and the mouth of the Potomac River.
The Point was a location chosen for a hospital during the Civil War. The hospital facility could house 1400 patients and had wards extending out from a central core like spokes. There was a 20,000 gallon water tank in the center that could flood individual buildings with water in the event of a fire. A second, smaller field hospital was set up nearby due to a smallpox outbreak in the prison camp.
During the course of the war, some 52,000 prisoners passed through the prison here. 4,300 of them died and were buried there. The bodies were moved after the war to a mass gravesite near what is now the entrance to the state park.
There is also a lake in the center of the Point. I plan to go kayaking in it in the next day or so and will let you know next week if that actually happens!