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Guards at Pt. Lookout

Point Lookout Guards
  • 2nd US Cavalry
  • 5th US Cavalry
  • 24th US Colored Infantry
  • 28th US Colored Infantry
  • 36th US Colored Infantry (formally 2nd NC)
  • 1st US Volunteer
  • 2nd US MA Negro Cavalry
  • 5th US MA Colored Cavalry
  • 2nd US NH Volunteer Regiment
  • 5th US NH Volunteer Regiment
  • 12th US NH Volunteer Regiment
  • 2nd US NC
  • 26th US NC Negro Regiment
  • We do have the name of a black NC guard by the name of Jerry Walker, from Plymouth, NC
  • 139th US OH Infantry Regiment
  • 2nd US WI Volunteer Artillery Battery
  • 3rd US MD Colored Regiment
  • 4th US MD Colored Regiment
  • 4th US Infantry Negro Regiment
  • 4th US RI Volunteers
  • 10th US VT Veteran Reserve Corps
  • 166th US VT Veteran Reserve Corps, 2nd Battn.

The negro guard would, almost without warning, fire among the prisoners, and this at last culminated in the murder of a poor, feeble old man named Potts, a prisoner, one of the most harmless creatures in the pen. He was hailed by one of the guard while approaching his ward, ordered to stop, and shot dead while standing still....Southern Historical Society Papers. Vol. XVIII. Richmond, Va., January-December. 1890. Prison-Pens North.

The affidavit of Thomas E. Gilkerson states:

That negro soldiers were promoted to corporals for shooting white prisoners at Point Lookout, where he was a prisoner.

That he was transferred to Elmira, New York, where prisoners were starved into skeletons; were reduced to the necessity of robbing the night stool of the meats which, being spoiled, could not be eaten by the sick, was thrown into the bucket of excrements, taken out and washed to satisfy their distressing hunger.

That for inquiring of Lieutenant Whitney, of Rochester, New York, for some clothes which the deponent believed were sent to him in a box, the deponent was confined three days in a dungeon and fed on bread and water.

That two men in ward twenty two were starved until they eat a dog, for which offence they were severely punished.

That negroes were placed on guard. That while on guard, a negro called a prisoner over the dead line, which the prisoner did not recognize as such, and the negro shot him dead, and went unpunished.

That shooting prisoners without cause or provocation, was of frequent occurrence by the negro guards.

....Mr. Waring was removed from Carroll prison to Point Lookout, where the prisoners were detailed to load and unload vessels; were robbed by negroes of the trinkets made in prison; some were shot by negroes, carpet sacks were robbed of clothing, and hospital stewards and sanitary commissions ate the provisions sent to prisoners and soldiers, or extorted exorbitant prices from the person to whom they had been sent.

The negroes offered every manner of indignity to the prisoners. Among other crimes they shot a dying man on his attempt to relieve nature. The conduct of the negroes at Point Lookout was incited by their white officers until it was frightful.

.....Garland A. Snead, of Augusta, Georgia, said he was taken prisoner at Fisher's Hill, Virginia, September, 1864; sent to Point Lookout, which was in the care of one Brady, who had been an officer of negro cavalry.

He was starved for five days, had chronic diarrhea; was forced to use bad water, the good water being refused them. Men died frequently of sheer neglect. He was sent off to make room for other prisoners, because he was believed to be in a dying condition as it was manifestly the purpose to poison all that could be destroyed by deleterious food and water, or by neglect of their wants. He said that negroes fired into their beds at night; and one was promoted for killing a prisoner, from the ranks to sergeant.......Southern Historical Society Papers,Vol.I Richmond, Virginia, April, 1876. No. 4. The Treatment Of Prisoners During The War Between The States

Last updated on October 27, 2008
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