Point Lookout, MD Tornado Forms On Potomac River, Aug 1864



We take the following letter from the Washington Chronicle:
Point Lookout, Md., Saturday, Aug. 6.
This morning, at six o'clock, this point was visited by a terrible tornado. It commenced in the Potomac River, in the form of a waterspout, striking the shore at the wharf, and throwing lumber, hay, &c., in every direction. The steamers Lizzie Baker and Favorite lying at the wharf, were both slightly damaged. Passing down the wharf, it struck the commissary and quartermaster's store-houses, tearing them down to the level of the ground, and scattering the hard bread and hay in all directions. It next lifted the dead-house belonging to the hospital from the ground, and dashed it down with such force as to leave no piece nearer than two or three feet long in the whole building.
Next in its course it elevated the sutler store of MR. E. L. DONNELLY, setting it down again a complete mass of rubbish. MR. DONNELLY himself was slightly injured, his loss will amount to about $1,500. It next struck up one of the streets in the hospital limits, and suddenly veering off to the right, took wards 3 and 4, and literally annihilated them, leaving nothing but the foundations, and then took ward C bodily and carried it about eight feet, setting it down again without any injury, the sick and wounded in it. Here it struck the Chesapeake Bay, and again took the form of a water-spout, and soon it broke and fell. Just before it fell it was about 300 feet in height and 30 feet through, tapering off to a point toward the water.
Very fortunately, no one was injured excepting one man and a child. Several persons were lifted and carried bodily 50 or 60 feet, and a few were thrown into the bay, but very few were injured further than a slight bruise. In consequence of hospitals blown down, 100 wounded and sick soldiers arrived here last night.

The New York Times New York 1864-08-10