04 March 2007

Camp Millen/Lawton

Alright, well, I think I may be getting the hang of this (I can here some of you out there "geez, it's not that hard..." shush.) Although I still haven't figured out exactly how the format works, so I apologize if it looks funny. Anyway, this post goes along with the last one. Really a prequel if you will, since this was earlier in the day. So this is Magnolia Springs state park in Georgia. This park is on the site of the Civil War Confederate prison camp, Camp Lawton or Camp Millen. The first picture is the spring itself, also the main reason for the camp being located here. The camp was built to relieve overcrowding at Andersonville and other Confederate prisons. It recieved its first prisoners in October of 1864 and all were evacuated in November of 1864 with the approach of Sherman's army. The next picture shows the park representation model of how they think the camp looked. Interestingly, the model shows the spring itself inside the camp, while most first hand accounts say it was just outside the wall. The third shows the main prison grounds. The trees would not be there, and the area would be surrounded by a tall wood pallisade (fence, if you will). The prisoners did not have shelter other than what they made out of the few materials they could find inside the fort. Their rations were less than most people could survive on, usually a couple pints of corn meal, a few ounces of beef including bone, and a tablespoon of molasses. Other possibilities were peas that were half eaten by bugs, or a small amount of sweet potatoes. They had not recieved new clothing since their capture, and most clothing was so worn that they were almost naked. All of this combined with the coming of coastal Georgia winter made a camp mortality rate of up to 65 men a day. (And you thought you were having a bad day.) The fourth picture shows a view across the stream, where signs say the main sanitary area was. A dam similar to the modern one on the left of the picture was constructed to separate the clean water from the "dirty" water below the sanitary area. The next picture shows the main earthen fortification built by the prison. It's purpose was two-fold: To defend the prison if need be, or more likely, to fire into the prison itself if the prisoners got unruly. An incident that almost occured one time when they protested their unfair treatment. This fort held several cannon and was part of a more extensive system that was never finished. The final picture is a nearby historical marker for the old Savanah road.

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