Commemoration of the Sinking of the Black Diamond
April 25 - April 26| Free
Head to St. Clement’s Island for a weekend of activities commemorating a forgotten tragedy of the American Civil War, the Black Diamond Disaster.
On Saturday and Sunday April 25 – 26, visitors to the St. Clements Island Museum will be able to enjoy a range of free programs focused on the commemoration 1865 Black Diamond disaster. National Museum of Civil War Medicine Executive Director David Price will speak at a commemorative ceremony on Sunday April 26 at 2:00 PM, and NMCWM staff will be present throughout the weekend.
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. 87 lives were lost off the shores of St. Clement’s Island that night.
Don’t miss what promises to be a special and moving weekend of free activities in St. Mary’s county, Maryland.