As part of my research for THE REBEL WIFE, my wonderful husband took me on a field trip to Point Lookout, Maryland. We toured the site where the Union prison once stood. What an unforgettable experience it was to soak in the sights, the sounds. I was overcome with sadness just imagining the thousands of men crammed into such a small space. While the below pictures don’t capture the sense of oppression surrounding the site, they do depict the stark reality of imprisonment.

The reconstructed prison entrance. It must have looked like the maw of a beast to the incoming prisoners.

The outside wall with a catwalk where Union soldiers patrolled. Originally built to house 10,000 men, that number swelled to 20,000 when the exchange of prisoners was placed on hold. That’s quite a crowd of men feed and watch over.

An inside corner with a marker indicating the “dead-line”. Any prisoner crossing that line was shot, without warning.

Prisoners either lived in shacks like this, or in tents. Imagine fifteen to twenty men living in such tiny quarters.

One of the barracks that housed the Union guards. Better housing than the prisoners had, but not by much.

The interior of the guards barracks with shelf beds. No comfort here, it appears.

A view of the Chesapeake Bay from the point.  That day, the weather was lovely. Imagine the prisoners, wearing little more than rags, suffering through harsh winter weather.




Congratulations to Colleen, the winner of my February contest!!!!!




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