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The Black Diamond Disaster Event, American Civil War Commemoration Weekend to be Held at St. Clement’s Island Museum on Sunday, April 25, 2021

On Sunday, April 25, at 2 p.m., the St. Mary’s County Museum Division will remember the 87 lives lost in a tragedy during the American Civil War in a military ceremony with remarks from the Naval Air Station Patuxent River Base Commander and wreath laying on the waterfront at St. Clement’s Island Museum. Further weekend activities will happen all day Saturday, April 24, and Sunday, April 25, at St. Clement’s Island Museum from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. This free event is open to the public and is an excellent 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. During the same time, the steamer Massachusetts headed for Fortress Monroe out of Alexandria, Virginia. In a tragic turn of events, the Massachusetts struck the Black Diamond on the port side near the boiler, sinking her in under three minutes. […]

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