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About Hammond gazette. [volume] (Point Lookout, Md.) 1862-1864
Point Lookout, Md. (1862-1864)
- Hammond gazette. [volume] : (Point Lookout, Md.) 1862-1864
- Place of publication:
- Point Lookout, Md.
- Geographic coverage:
- Charley Greer & Co.
- Dates of publication:
- Ceased in 1864?
- Vol. 1, no. 1 (Nov. 17, 1862)-
- Maryland--Point Lookout.--fast--(OCoLC)fst01250035
- Point Lookout (Md.)--Newspapers.
- "For the benefit of the sick and wounded in Hammond General Hospital."
- sn 82002197
- View complete holdings information
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The Hammond Gazette was a weekly newspaper published between 1862 and 1864 for the staff and patients at the Hammond General Hospital, a Civil War military facility at Point Lookout, Maryland. Located on the extreme tip of a peninsula formed where the Potomac River joins the Chesapeake Bay, Point Lookout had a lighthouse and resort hotel with a steamboat landing prior to the war. Its remote, easily defended location and access via steamboat to the eastern military theater made Point Lookout an attractive location for a hospital. The medical facility was established in 1862 and named for Surgeon General William A. Hammond. Images of the hospital show a distinctive circular spoked design of 16 separate ward buildings housing 1,400 beds attached to a central administrative hub. The complex also had a dining building, chapel, library, staff housing, and associated support structures. It treated wounded soldiers from both sides of the conflict. The hospital closed after the cessation of hostilities in the summer of 1865.
The Hammond Gazette filled the demand for news among those confined at the isolated location of the hospital. Out-of-town newspapers were available in limited quantities, but the Gazette met a need similar to the regimental and military camp newspapers produced on mobile presses that flourished during the Civil War. The founding publisher was Charley Greer, but through much of its short life, the Gazette was published by George Everett. Captain Everett, a solder for the Union, was the white commander of Company D of the 38th United States Colored Troops (USCT) stationed at Point Lookout. In addition to the Gazette, Everett published a color lithograph of the hospital and prison camp in 1864 that preserves a birds-eye view of the installation.
The paper contained poetry, humor, news from the war and other current events, local news (including new arrivals at the adjacent prisoner of war camp), and lists of officers and patients in the hospital. Surviving letters from hospital patients indicate that they sent clippings from the Gazette to their friends and family to better describe conditions at Point Lookout.
The situation for the patients and staff at the Hammond General Hospital took a dramatic turn in the summer of 1863 when Union authorities selected Point Lookout for a prisoner of war camp. In the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg, officials scrambled to find places for the thousands of captured prisoners. Over time, the prison camp at Point Lookout housed a maximum population of 20,000—the largest on either side in the war. Surviving letters and diaries of captured Confederates paint a grim picture of living conditions. The poorly housed prisoners faced mosquito infestations in summer and harsh exposure in winter. They also sorely resented the decision, which they saw as punitive, to assign black soldiers from USCT regiments as guards. One Confederate prisoner, John Jacob Omenhausser of Virginia, recorded camp life in a series of watercolor illustrations he sold to his captors and fellow prisoners as souvenirs.
Provided by: University of Maryland, College Park, MD