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Descendants 2008 Pilgrimage & Park Dedication

It’s been a long time coming,
but we raised the funds for Confederate Memorial Park!!

Even The Threat of Hanna Did Not Stop Descendants and Supporters from Honoring Those Who Suffered At Pt. Lookout.

Confederate Memorial Park Has Been Dedicated.
Sprinkled in Holy Water By Fr. Alister Anderson.
Blessed by Rev. Herman White and Pastor John Weaver.
Baptized With Wind & Rain from Tropical Storm Hanna!!

Just a few days before our event and what happens? The threat of a hurricane! My emails runneth over with, “Are we going to cancel or reschedule?”

Our members make plans/reservations nearly a year in advance. Many putting in request for their vacation time in January, so they can come to Pt. Lookout during our Pilgrimage weekend. They travel by vehicle as well as by plane to Maryland. Our newsletters were already mailed, the month before. Our programs already printed and ribbons made. We already had Georgia & Alabama members waiting in Maryland. There was absolutely no way I could have canceled this event.

Besides the above mentioned fact...our ancestors imprisoned in PL suffered so much more the blistering sun, in the freezing snow and through several hurricanes without shelter. Me, standing in the wind and rain to honor them, is a very humbling experience of which I am not even worthy.

I could not disappoint the spirits of Pt. Lookout, any more than I could disappoint our members already waiting in MD. Too late then to turn back.

Were we inconvenienced and did we get wet? Yes we did. Was it worth it? Yes, it was. And I can truly say, that I did not hear ONE complaint! Our Lee’s Miserables POW re-enactors were out there, barefooted, ragged and soaked to the bone. Ladies dressed in period attire and their Sunday best, got wet. But, their duty meant more to them than the elements. I did hear many people say that it just brought them a little closer to what their ancestors endured while imprisoned in Pt. Lookout.

Each year, we the descendants, make our annual pilgrimage to Point Lookout, MD to the hallow grounds where over 52,000 of our family were imprisoned and over 14,000 died, between 1863-1865. We make this pilgrimage to mourn our dead, present a memorial tribute in their name, present a living history with a prison portrayal and have our descendants' meeting. In addition this year, we dedicated our project - Confederate Memorial Park!

Lee's Miserables POW Re-enactors

Descendants and Guests Supper at Bon Buffet, Lexington Park, MD

Descendants Meeting
Friday, September 5th:

The meeting was held at the Ridge Volunteer Fire Department.

Special guest speaker was Fred D. Taylor, rising attorney from the Commonwealth of the Old Dominion state of Virginia. His topic was "Civilian Prisoners in Point Lookout."


Saturday, September 6th:

Back by popular demand! The Brunswick County SCV boys cooked their famous homemade brunswick stew!

They sold bread, crackers, snacks, sweets, water and soft drinks.

Striblings Battery gave our cannon dedication salute and artillery demos in the living history area.

James E. Stallings, Sr., author of GA soldiers who were imprisoned/died at Point Lookout, MD
Lee's Miserable Greg Hernandez as Pt. Lookout's Sidney Lanier and featured guest musican at descendant's meeting on Friday.

Capt. Vincent Camalier SCV Camp #1359

Saturday, September 6th at 9:00 am:
Confederate Memorial Park Dedication Ceremony

Confederate Memorial Park has been the single project of our Descendants Descendants Org. and today we’re here to honor the very POWs …men, women & children of all races, who were imprisoned and who died here at Pt. Lookout by dedicating Confederate Memorial Park to them!

Our Descendants Org. was formed in 1991. Soon afterwards, our organization learned that many names had been left off of the existing cemetery monument, so we wanted, as a project to add an additional monument plaque to the grounds in the cemetery. We started searching/gathering names. We contacted the Veterans Administration, who owns the property, for permission to put it in the cemetery. They decided that they would handle this project and asked for our list of names. We gave it to them, but they never followed through on their word of adding this plaque. Then, we decided that we’d like to place a POW statue in the cemetery to honor our ancestors. Again, we went back to the Veterans Administration and asked for permission and they told us that there was already a statue in the cemetery – although none of us has been able to find it. We contacted the state park service and asked them if we could put our statue in the original pen area down on The Point…..they’re still out to lunch on making a decision on that one. All during this time, we had been able to supply the battle flag in the cemetery and sell them to fund our plaque project, but in 1998, the Veterans Administration removed our ancestors’ flag from their mass grave and it has still not been allowed in the cemetery. In the meantime, we were having our annual Pilgrimage/living histories inside the state park (on the original pen grounds), but the state park service decided that they had to approve what we could and could not say in our skits…now, this was also after the Veterans Administration said that they had to approve speeches given in the cemetery and if they didn't like what we said, we could be liable for imprisonment. So, here we were:

  1. We were denied the opportunity to put up a plaque with missing POW Veteran names.
  2. The Veterans Administration went back on their word to put one up.
  3. We were denied the opportunity to put up a POW statue in the cemetery “or” the state park.
  4. We were denied Freedom of Speech in the cemetery “and” the state park – by federal and state governments.

Rather than bow down and abide by these unconstitutional acts of tyranny, on April 9th, 2003 (our Appomattox, but we won this one!), we bought our own land, have now raised nearly two hundred thousand dollars to construct our own memorial to our ancestors and have erected our own POW statue where our ancestors' battle flag can freely fly 24/7/365. During & after today’s ceremony you will be able to witness FREEDOM of speech as the true history of Pt. Lookout can/will be told.

  • Rev. Fr. Alister Anderson
    Click Here to read Fr. Anderson's Innvocation
Welcoming Remarks/History of CMP:
  • President Patricia B. Buck
Dedication of Flagpoles & State Trees:
  • 1st CSA National Flag…Franklin Rifles SCV Camp #310…Stacy Harris
  • 2nd CSA National Flag…Capt. James I. Waddell SCV Camp #1608…Cmdr. Stephen LaPlanche
  • 3rd CSA National Flag …Phillip Wood
  • Bonnie Blue Flag…James N. Langley, III
  • National Flag of Scotland…Michael Virts
  • Cherokee Braves National Flag…F. Lee Hart, III
  • South Carolina Flag…Betty B. Mann
  • South Carolina State Tree…SC Div. UDC, Theresa G. Pittman, SC UDC Div. Pres.
  • Mississippi State Flag…Butch Godwin
  • Mississippi State Tree…Wayne Taylor
  • Florida State Flag….Jack Crowell
  • Florida State Tree…Doug Nash
  • Alabama State Flag…AL Div. UDC, Pat Godwin
  • Alabama State Tree… Russell & Pam Darden
  • Georgia State Flag…Kerri Baker
  • Georgia State Tree…James Stallings
  • Louisiana State Flag…Dr. Robert Griffon
  • Louisiana State Tree…Donna Harris
  • Texas State Flag…Seth Latham
  • Texas State Tree…Nikki Harris
  • Virginia State Flag…Old Brunswick SCV Camp #512…Lee's Miserable Bob Harris
  • Virginia State Tree…Steve DeFreytas & Lori Hagin
  • Arkansas State Flag…Chris McCall
  • Arkansas State Tree…Stephen DiCarlo
  • North Carolina Flag...Dr. David A. Long, III

  • North Carolina State Tree…Sgt. Ivy Richie SCV, Cmdr. Joel Fesperman
  • Tennessee State Flag…Bettie Grose
  • Tennessee State Tree…John and Joyce Nash
  • Missouri State Flag…Jim Hubbard
  • Missouri State Tree…Fred Taylor
  • Kentucky State Flag…Rick Griffin
  • Kentucky State Tree…John B. Stober, Jr.
  • Pt. Lookout POW Flag…Jerry Wells

  • Confederate Battle Flag…Betty Mann

Special Singing: presented by Wade Harris.

Blessing of Flags & Statue:
  • Fr. Alister Anderson with Holy Water from the Jordon River in Israel
Statue Unveiling:
  • CMPI Jim Dunbar, Chm and Steve Defreytas
  • Gary Casteel
  • James B. Dunbar
  • Rick Griffin
DeArden Historical Presentation:
  • Russell Darden
  • The Winner of the Southampton County Ham was Seth Latham from Bellhaven, NC. The winning name was drawn by Lydia Casteel.

Special Guest Speaker:
Presentation of Memorial Tributes
Artillery Salute:
  • Striblings Battery
  • Rev. Herman White
Amazing Grace
  • In Memory of Grace Pratt


Last updated on November 1, 2008
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