J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the tag “POW”

Halloween Hauntings and the Civil War (Pt. 4)

3870864_f520

One of the most haunted places in America related to the Civil War is Point Lookout in Maryland. Point Lookout was a notorious Confederate prison camp during the war. At one time, over 50,000 men were held captive, which was far more than what the prison was designed to hold. Because of overcrowding, over 3,000 men died due to the horrific living conditions. They were buried in the swampy marsh of Chesapeake Bay.

point-lookout-prison-camp

The place where the prison once stood is now a national park and historic site, and the men who died at Point Lookout are remembered in a war memorial cemetery, which is actually a mass grave. Not surprisingly, many strange things have occurred on this haunted and hallowed ground. Visitors have reported a multitude of paranormal phenomena, including ghostly figures of soldiers seen running from the location of where a smallpox hospital once stood, which was a regular escape route for prisoners. A slender man has often been seen loping across the road into groves of pine trees.

c88ad24880180bec81bfbb30409aa36d   point_lookout_prison___southern_maryland_online

Rangers have described how frequent, low lying, damp fog would suddenly become impenetrable and chilling. The sudden change in atmosphere sent their dogs into a panic. Recorded devices have picked up strange snippets of conversation at all hours of the night. Some of the phrases heard included a man say, “Fire if they get too close to you.” A woman’s voice was heard saying, “Let us take no objection to what they are doing,” and a child’s voice asked to play in the water.

pointlookoutlighthouse_chesapeakebayprogram1

Point Lookout’s lighthouse has experienced the most activity. Former park ranger Gerald Sword said his Belgian Shepherd regularly lunged at unseen figures. Once, Ranger Sword saw a young man in a sailor’s uniform enter the lighthouse and then disappear into thin air. Voices and piano music frequently float through the lighthouse halls, and fishermen have often told him they’ve heard phantom cries for help coming from the water.

Four Months to Find Civil War History

Archaeologists in Columbia, South Carolina are racing against time to unearth the remains of a Civil War POW camp. Their goal is to discover as much as they can about the area before it is cleared for development. Researchers have a window of four months to excavate a small portion of the 165-acre area before their time is up.

The site of the South Carolina State Hospital, known as “Camp Asylum,” is the area that the archaeologists are concentrating on. The camp held 1,500 Union officers during the winter of 1864-65.  Last summer, the site was sold to a developer for $15 million, who plans to build an urban campus of shops and apartments, and maybe even a minor league baseball field. Researchers are digging to locate the holes that the officers were living in, as well as any personal possessions they might have left behind.

“Almost everybody lived in holes, although the Confederacy did try to procure tents along the way, as they could obtain them,” said chief archaeologist Chester DePratter of the University of South Carolina’s Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology.

DePratter has been able to recover 40 diaries and dozens of letters. The researchers have also uncovered combs, buttons, clothing remnants, and utensils. To bring attention to the project, tours set up by the Historic Columbia Foundation are being offered for $10 each.

Andersonville’s Commandant Wirz – The Only Person Hung For War Crimes

Andersonville has acquired the famed reputation of being the most notoriously diabolical prisoner-of-war camp of the Civil War. POW camps in the North were just as terrible if not worse, but once the war was over, Commandant Henry Wirz received the brunt of the blame, and was the only person executed for war crimes. Following a farcical trial, he was hung on November 10, 1865 after he refused to condemn Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Captain Wirz became a scapegoat, along with some of the “conspirators” involved in Lincoln’s assassination. Although Wirz proclaimed his innocence, he was found guilty, and as he was led to the gallows, he was forced to endure ridicule while the crowd chanted “Remember Andersonville.” Following his death, Wirz’ body was dissected, and pieces were exhibited around the country. Four years later, his attorney managed to collect enough body parts to conduct a Christian burial.

Post Navigation