Sunday, April 11, 2010

A long way from home

We recently visited Southern Maryland for a short vacation. We had a good time and enjoyed the time on Solomon's Island. We also drove south to the next county and found Point Lookout, Maryland.

Point Lookout is now a national park but during the civil war was one of the largest Prisoner of War camps holding Confederate troops. They say over 50,000 men were there for about a year. It was created after the battle of Gettysburg.

At least three of my Fulford cousins from North Carolina were sent there after being captured. Two of them didn't make it home. Point Lookout was just a sandy beach and swamp back in the 1860s and isn't much more today. At least 3300 men died or almost 10 a day.

There is large monument at the Confederate cemetery listing those who died. They were originally buried in a half dozen small cemeteries on the island. Most of the men died of disease, small pox, typhus, etc and they tried to quarantine the sick to stop the spread of the diseases. They created separate cemeteries for each quarantine area and buried the dead according to where they died. After the war the bodies were dug up and buried in one mass grave.

I found the names of several Fulfords from North Carolina. I figured they were probably related so I did some research.

Anson Burgess Fulford died on February 11, 1864. He was captured on November 7, 1863 at the battle of Kelly's Run in Virginia. Anson was the 2nd cousin of my ancestor David Fulford. Burgess is a family name, his mother's maiden name and also the name of my ancestor Margaret Burgess.

In fact one of David Fulford's brothers was named William Burgess Fulford and he was held as a POW at Point Lookout also. He was fortunate to survive.

I also found the name James Fulford on the monument. It showed he served in the 4th North Carolina Cavalry.
I am pretty sure James was the son of Elijah Fulford who was born in Carteret County but moved to Currituck County about 1830. His father was the 2nd cousin of Anson Burgess Fulford. James Fulford died on December 8, 1863. As best as I can tell, he was captured at Gettysburg and held at Point Lookout for five months. By December they probably had snow on the ground and the only shelters for the prisoners were canvas tents.

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