Monday, December 23, 2013

New military history research: US Civil War Camp Lawton, the Second Florida Union Cavalry

The winter 2013-14 issue of American Archaeology has an article providing an overview of the archaeology work being done at the US Civil War Confederate prison Camp Lawton.   

The infamous camp at Andersonville had become too crowded and diseased so the CSA built Camp Lawton in Georgia in 1864.  However, Atlanta fell soon after completion of the prison so only about 10,000 prisoners were transferred there for at most six weeks.  The camp was once the world’s largest prison but because of its short life and quick destruction, there’s not much to show for it.

However, recent excavations of the site have revealed a huge amount of information on the site and the Civil War in general.  Building foundations have been found.  Wall locations have been mapped and artifacts of the Confederate prison keepers and Union prisoners have been found and the work is ongoing.  Ground penetrating radar and magnetometer surveys are being done to locate other locations of interest within the site.  Archaeologists have even been able to distinguish between structures built by slaves and those built by prisoners based on various clues uncovered during their research. 

A fascinating article that should be read by anyone interested in the US Civil War or 19th century warfare.

 Andersonville Prison, Ga., August 17, 1864--Southwest view of stockade showing the dead-line
Here's an interesting article on a Union unit formed in Florida.  I didn't realize that during the Civil War, the federal government formed Union units in Florida but then again I never looked that deeply into it.  

Major General Daniel P Woodbury - Commandant of Key West and Tortugas during the US Civil War - He had Fort Myers taken to disrupt Confederate food logistics.

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