On the weekend of April 22-23, 2023, St. Clement’s Island Museum will host a commemorative event for the Black Diamond Disaster, a tragic event that claimed the lives of 87 people off the shores of St. Clement’s Island during the American Civil War. The event will feature free museum admission, water taxi rides to the island, lighthouse tours, Civil War-themed exhibits, and a ceremony to honor those who lost their lives.

The Black Diamond was a barge sent by the Quartermaster Corps to patrol the lower Potomac River following the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln in April 1865. Its primary objective was to prevent John Wilkes Booth from crossing the Potomac River. On the same night, the steamer Massachusetts, heading towards Fortress Monroe, collided with the Black Diamond in the darkness, causing it to sink in under three minutes.

The St. Clement’s Island Museum is organizing the Black Diamond Disaster Weekend to honor the lives lost in this forgotten tragedy. Visitors can learn more about this tragic event through special exhibits, displays, and period concerts. A free ceremony will also be held on Sunday at 2 pm to commemorate the 87 lives lost. A reception will follow the ceremony.

The event is open to the public and offers a unique opportunity to learn more about this overlooked tragedy of the Civil War. Visitors can take a free water taxi ride to St. Clement’s Island, with the last taxi departing at 3 pm. The museum will also offer free admission to all visitors throughout the weekend.

The Black Diamond Disaster Weekend is a must-see event for history enthusiasts and anyone interested in learning more about the forgotten tragedies of the American Civil War.

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/EditorEditor-in-Chief

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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