Front: After the battle of Gettysburg in July 1863, the Federal government established a prison camp for Confederates at Point Lookout, Maryland. The camp became the largest POW camp in numbers of prisoners for either side during the War for Southern Independence. In comparison, the infamous Andersonville camp for northern state prisoners in Georgia documented approximately 45,000 prisoners while Point Lookout had 52,264 documented Confederate soldiers, sailors, and marines as well as an additional few hundred civilians.
Back: The Official Records in the Library of Congress state that the death rate at Point Lookout ranged from 1.64 to 9.75 deaths per day. In a report dated July 19, 1866 by U.S. Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton states that out of 270,000 Union prisoners held in captivity, 22,000 died, while of the 220,000 Confederate prisoners held more than 26,000 died. The camp was in existence for twenty months from September 1863 to June 1865. Unlike the South, the Federal Government possessed the food, medicine, clothing and shelter adequate for humane conditions but chose, as a matter of policy, to encourage thousands of Southerners to die.