Point Lookout Prison Camp and Hospital
Richard H. Triebe Coastal Books
Richard H. Triebe’s extensively researched study of the Union’s largest prisoner of war compound, Point Lookout Prison Camp on the southern tip of St. Mary’s County, Md., combines the intimate focus of some 50 firsthand accounts with a revised accounting of the prisoners who lost their lives there, adding 432 to the 3,384 dead listed on the Confederate Memorial. The camp was built to house 10,000, but its population apparently swelled to nearly twice that amount. The heart of the book is a roster of documented personnel, alphabetically listed by name, age—when known—date and state of enlistment, home residence, unit, date and location of capture, and date and cause of death.
In addition to providing an overview of Point Lookout’s history, Triebe also takes a big-picture look at the political, military and logistical considerations that lay behind the miserable conditions in all the camps on both sides—which seems to view the North’s policies as the less excusable of the two.
Originally published in the December 2014 issue of Civil War Times. To subscribe, click here.