Travel Log 7/4/2018

Travel Map

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.

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New York Battery on Reynolds Avenue – Army of the Potomac
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North Carolina Monument
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Robert E. Lee on his horse “Traveler” at the Virginia Memorial
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Pennsylvania Memorial
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Looking across the battlefields from atop the Pennsylvania Monument

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.

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Our campsite at Point Lookout State Park

The Point is located between Chesapeake Bay and the mouth of the Potomac River.

 

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Chesapeake Bay
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Lighthouse (under refurbishment) at the tip of Point Lookout.

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.

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Model of the Hammond hospital constructed at the Point in 1863

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.

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Confederate prisoner mass grave marker at Point Lookout listing every name of Confederate soldiers who died in the prison camp. The smaller marker on the left was the original one, with the phrase “Dulce et decorum est pro Patria Mori”, which means “It is sweet and proper to die for the fatherland”
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Confederate Memorial Park showing flags from each confederate state and quotes from confederate prisoners

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!

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Dock behind the civil war museum and nature center

 

 

 

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