“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Millen in Jenkins County, Georgia — The American South (South Atlantic)

The Civil War's Camp Lawton

Rediscovering Through Archaeology

Archaeology - The Civil War's Camp Lawton Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, May 11, 2017
1. Archaeology - The Civil War's Camp Lawton Marker
Inscription.   According to one source, shortly after the end of the Civil War, Camp Lawton's few permanent structures, including its prisoner stockade, burned. The grounds quickly reverted to their previous use as farmland. Over the years, nature and man erased all traces of the prison site, except for its earthworks. In 2006 and 2007, archaeologists used ground penetrating radar to search for faint traces of the stockade which might yet remain.

Due to the destruction of many Confederate records and Camp Lawton's short period of existence, the precise locations of the stockade, its defenses, and related structures have proved elusive. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) can detect differences in soil density several feet below the surface. GPR use at Magnolia Springs showed the outlines of a large squarish structure beneath the park's main parking lot. Analysis suggests this outline may be all that remains of the stockade's main gate.

At Magnolia Springs, archaeologists from the Georgia Department of Transportation's Office of Environment/Location laid out a grid in areas of the park to be investigated. Next, they
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pulled the GPR equipment over the grid lines to record the data. They investigated several areas of the park while attempting to determine the exact location of the stockade and other Camp Lawton features.

Once data from the ground penetrating radar studies are analyzed, archaeologists often excavate where subsurface imaging indicates the presence of buried features. Features may be the remains of walls, posts, fire pits, roads, paths, etc. At Magnolia Springs, a small excavation exposed what might be traces of the pointed wooden spikes that formed a defensive barrier around the camp's gun emplacements. Future excavations may reveal charred remains indicating that the stockade and other buildings were actually burned.

Ground penetrating radar equipment consists of two components. In this array, the front pack equipment records the signals from the unit that is pulled along the surface. The data is read and analyzed using specialized computer software.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and CastlesScience & MedicineWar, US Civil.
Location. 32° 52.486′ N, 81° 57.5′ W. Marker is in Millen, Georgia, in Jenkins County. Marker can be reached from Magnolia Springs Road, 0.3 miles east of U.S. 25, on the left when traveling
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east. Marker is located in Georgia's Magnolia Springs State Park, on the west side of the main parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1053 Magnolia Springs Road, Millen GA 30442, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Camp Lawton (within shouting distance of this marker); Welcome to Magnolia Springs – The Civil War’s Camp Lawton (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old Buckhead Church (approx. 2˝ miles away); Big Buckhead Church (approx. 4.2 miles away); Cavalry Action at Buckhead Church (approx. 4.2 miles away); Battle of Buck Head Creek (approx. 4.2 miles away); Carswell Grove Baptist Church (approx. 4.2 miles away); Sherman at Millen (approx. 4.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Millen.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Civil War Camp Lawton
Also see . . .  Magnolia Springs State Park. During the Civil War, this site was called Camp Lawton and served as “the world’s largest prison.” Today, little remains of the prison stockade; however, the earthen breastworks which guarded it may still be seen. During 2010, Georgia Southern University archeology teams uncovered the stockade wall and numerous personal articles from soldiers. Their discovery has been heralded as one of the most significant finds in recent history. Artifacts are currently on display at the university and at the Camp Lawton museum located at Magnolia Springs State Park. (Submitted on February 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on March 12, 2019. It was originally submitted on February 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 325 times since then and 64 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on February 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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Nov. 30, 2023