Point Lookout State Park
Point Lookout State Park: Hammond General Hospital
History: Hammond General Hospital, named for Surgeon General William A. Hammond, opened at Point Lookout, Maryland in August 1862. The massive structure, built to accommodate 1,400 men, covered nearly all the area between the Potomac River and the Chesapeake Bay. It was well over 500 feet in diameter and had 16 wings radiating out from an open central area like the spokes of a giant wheel.
One wing contained the hospital offices, and the others were wards. A covered circular walkway connected all the wings at the center. Within the central hub stood four buildings: the chapel, half-diet kitchen, library and reading room, and baggage room. An elevated 20,000-gallon water tank occupied the center of the hub when completed in late spring 1863. Its purpose was to flood the hospital in the event of fire.
The hospital officially closed its doors in August 1865, and all the structures were soon sold, demolished, or auctioned.
More to Explore: Enjoy the beach and swim in the Chesapeake Bay from Point Lookout State Park. Rent a canoe and explore one of the water trails winding through wetlands lined with marshland and towering loblolly pines. A campground and hiking trails, including the Point Lookout Rail Trail, round out this outdoor adventure. Make sure to check out the Civil War Museum and Marshland Nature Center at the park.
1. Point Lookout, Hammond General Hospital
2. Sketch of entrance to prisoner-of-war encampment.