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Black Diamond Disaster Event, an American Civil War Commemoration Weekend, to be Held at St. Clement’s Island Museum

On the weekend of April 23-24, the St. Mary’s County Museum Division will remember the 87 lives lost in a tragedy during the American Civil War on the Potomac near St. Clement’s Island during the hunt for presidential assassin John Wilkes Booth. Weekend activities will happen on both days at St. Clement’s Island Museum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., including free museum admission and free boat rides, a free folk concert Saturday, and a military ceremony Sunday featuring remarks from the Naval Air Station Patuxent River Base Commander and wreath-laying on the waterfront. This free event is open to the public. It is an opportunity to learn more about one of Maryland’s worst nautical disasters and other information regarding St. Mary’s County during the American Civil War. In April 1865, following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, the Quartermaster Corps sent the barge Black Diamond to the lower Potomac to stand on picket duty off St. Clement’s Island. Her main job was to keep John Wilkes Booth from crossing the Potomac River. The steamer Massachusetts headed for Fortress Monroe out of Alexandria, Virginia, during the same time. In a tragic turn, the Massachusetts struck the Black Diamond on the […]

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