Civil War prison yields new artifacts 150 years after the war began
A Civil War prison in Georgia -- briefly the largest prison camp of the conflict -- continues to provide archaeologists with fresh artifacts, including the personal belongings of Union soldiers held there.
Camp Lawton, in Millen, Ga., has been the site of an excavation by a team from Georgia Southern University since last year.
This week, university officials announced the team had found a ring, a corps badge, keys to furniture and doors, suspender buckles and a pocket knife.
“Eighteen months ago, the conventional wisdom was that anything of historical value at the site of Camp Lawton had been lost, looted or destroyed,” Sue Moore, the project director and a Georgia Southern professor of archaeology, said in a news release.
Instead, Moore said her team “cannot help but be amazed at what we continue to find at the site.”
Camp Lawton was built by the Confederacy to replace Andersonville, where about a quarter of the 45,000 Union prisoners held captive are believed to have died of malnutrition and disease. More than 10,000 Union prisoners were housed at the camp, which opened near the end of the Civil War and was only briefly in operation.
Georgia Southern Museum has an exhibit of items recovered from the excavation. University officials said the new discoveries are scheduled to go on display Oct. 12.
Interest in the Civil War, which began 150 years ago this year, remains high. Reenactments of battles commemorating the anniversary are scheduled nationwide until 2015.
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