Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) — The discovery of the exact location of a stockade and dozens of personal artifacts belonging to its Union prisoners is one of the biggest archaeological Civil War finds in decades, federal and Georgia officials said Monday.
Outside of scholars and Civil War buffs, few people have heard of the Confederacy’s Camp Lawton, which replaced the infamous and overcrowded Andersonville prison in fall 1864.
For nearly 150 years, its exact location was not known, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Georgia Southern University said.
Georgia Southern students earlier this year began their search at a state park and federal fish hatchery for evidence of the wall timbers and interior buildings.
Map: Lawton, Ga.
“Archaeologists call it one of the most significant Civil War discoveries in decades,” a joint statement read.
Officials would provide no details until the formal announcement Wednesday morning at Magnolia Springs State Park, five miles north of Millen in southeast Georgia. An open house for the public will follow from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Life at Lawton, described as “foul and fetid,” wasn’t much better than at Andersonville, with the exception of plentiful water from Magnolia Springs.
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