Madison Square

Madison Square
Savannah Under Fire archaeologists work in Madison Square, Savannah, GA, surrounded by visitors and citizens interested in our dig.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Visit Camp Lawton this weekend

This is a great opportunity to visit a cool archaeology site near Savannah. Two of Savannah Under Fire's own have worked on this project: Dan Elliott and Matt Luke. (hi guys!) The Camp Lawton dig is at Magnolia Springsa State Park. You can visit the dig on April 17 and May 1. Other dates will be posted on or call 478-982-1660.

I'm passing along the article below (verbatim) from the Georgia Preservation Online newsletter.

Archaeological investigations have begun at Camp Lawton in Magnolia Springs State Park near Millen, Georgia. The excavations are the result of a partnership between the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Georgia Southern University.

Camp Lawton was established during the Civil War in the fall of 1864 by the Confederate Army to house Union prisoners of war at Magnolia Springs in order to take advantage of the abundant water supply. Built by slave labor of pine timber harvested on site, the walls measured 12 to 15 feet high. The stockade began receiving the first of at least 10,299 prisoners in early October. The post was abandoned by the end of November when threatened by Sherman’s drive on Savannah. The prisoners were transported to other, safer, locations. On December 3, 1864 Sherman’s forces took possession of Millen and Camp Lawton. The depot (and likely the stockade and all support structures) was burned by his men.

Ground penetrating radar (GPR) conducted in December 2009 by the Lamar Institute revealed a possible location for the southwest corner of the prison stockade. Georgia Southern University has begun archaeological investigations to “ground truth” the results of the GPR survey. State archaeologist and Historic Preservation Division director Dave Crass said, “The results of the survey and testing will aid DNR in interpretation and future investigations at the Park.”

The public is invited to view the progress of the excavations at the park on April 17 and May 1. Other dates will be posted on or call 478-982-1660.

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