On June 10, 1865 J.H. Thompson, former POW camp head surgeon, notified the public that Pt. Lookout had been "abandoned". This notice was published in the St. Mary's Gazette. The St. Mary's Beacon newspaper had been seized during the war by the U.S. Government due to the Beacon's critical content of the Lincoln administration and changed the name to Gazette. The Beacon's editor, John Downs was imprisoned here at Pt. Lookout.
The Government sold the buildings and contents of the military depot and POW camp at public auction on Jan 18th 1866. The newspaper ad stated the buildings would be sold separately and other items in lots to suite purchasers.
According to information passed down thru generations of the Fenhagen family who had possession of the iron cauldron you see inside the monument, this pot was used at the POW camp to prepare food for the prisoners.
They referred to it as "the bean pot".
The pot would have been used in one of the nine cook houses in the POW camp. There are several references to the bean soup by former prisoners recorded in diaries and letters. Nineteen year old Major J.E. Paddison of the Battery Buchanan, C.S. Signal Corps, stated, "A cup of bean soup with one or two yankee beans floating in it was our breakfast." Reverend Malachi Bowden, 2nd. GA. Inf., declared "I have found our food to be a small cup of soup with a stray yankee bean in it here and there and a piece of fat pickled pork as large as your hand. This together with two or three cuts of loaf bread issued twice a day completed our menu". Clark Lewis, Co. K, 22 VA. Inf. "Sometimes the meal would be corn bread and a cup of greasy soup with hardly any meat in it. The soup always seemed to give us scours. Right after eating it you headed for the larine like clockwork."
The Fenhagen family used the pot for numerous purposes. Surviving family members state that in the early 1900's Harry Fenhagen (1878-1851) used the pot to render lard. Mrs. Shirley Fenhagen McKay (1936-) remembers her grandmother stirring the fat for hours to prevent it from burning and sticking to the pot. Harry passed the caldron to his son Loubertus Fenhagen (1903-1984). Loubertus used the pot to heat tar for coating pound nets used to trap fish in the area tidal waters.
Upon his death, the pot was kept and preserved by his daughters until donating it to CMP for display.Plaque and Bean Pot gift of the Fenhagen family of Scotland Maryland