Monday, January 17, 2011

Markers dedicated Wed. in Macon, Ga.

Four Georgia Civil War Heritage Trails interpretive markers will be dedicated Wednesday (Jan. 19) in Macon, Ga.

The program begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Woodruff House, 988 Bond Street. Known during the war as the Cowles-Bond House, it was Union Major Gen. James H. Wilson’s headquarters after his 10,000 cavalrymen captured this city on April 20, 1865.

Three other markers will be dedicated. One recalls Camp Oglethorpe, a Federal officer’s prisoner-of-war camp located in Macon. Fort Hawkins was the site of Confederate artillery battery that helped defend Macon during a July 30, 1864, attack. The Macon Defensive Fortifications lie in historic Riverside Cemetery, home to one of only three still surviving segments of Macon’s once imposing ring of Civil War fortifications.

Following the dedication program, trolleys will transport visitors from the Woodruff House (operated by Mercer University) to and from each of the other three locations. • Details

According to the New Georgia Encyclopedia, Camp Oglethorpe was wedged between railroad tracks and the Ocmulgee River, the site was enclosed by a rough stockade on 15 to 20 acres. It operated two times in the war. By the summer of 1864, more than 2,300 Union officers were housed there. Shelter was barely adequate, and rations consisted of beans, cornmeal, and rice in meager amounts. The lack of sanitation, coupled with a dwindling diet, led to the usual litany of such diseases as chronic dysentery and scurvy. An official death total for the prison is unknown.

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