A guard musters out at the end of the war

Scotland, MD — First the prisoners were released. Then the guards were discharged from their duties. That’s what happened 150 years ago at Point Lookout Prisoner of War Camp in St. Mary’s County. Over the weekend of June 13-14 the Blue and Gray Days: The Final Prisioners Release was held to remember those events with reenactments and other ceremonies at what is now Pt. Lookout State Park at the tip of St. Mary’s County.

Visitors to the weekend events could view Ft. Lincoln and its Civil War Museum, the Pt. Lookout Confederate Cemetery and the monument to Confederate soldiers. Throughout the weekend living history programs were presented, along with infantry and artillery demonstrations, and the ceremonies marking the release of the prisoners and the discharge of the guards.

A Saturday evening program featured Ross Kimmel, co-author of “I Am Busy Drawing Pictures,” the Civil War art and letters of Private John Jacob Omenhausser, a prisoner at the camp.

About 50,000 Confederate prisoners were reportedly held at the camp during the war, of which about 14,000 are believed to have died there.

The living history program was presented by the Maryland Park Service, Maryland Department of Natural Resources and the Friends of Point Lookout.

Contact Dick Myers at dick.myers@thebaynet.com

Please enjoy the photos from Civil War 150th: The War’s Final Chapter by The Bay Net’s Photojournalist Ron Bailey.