Monday, October 13, 2014

Camp Lawton website will feature 'artifact of the week' during 150th anniversary

3D of Union brass button
Georgia Southern University in Statesboro is updating a website that documents students’ archaeological work at the site of a Confederate military prison that was open for six weeks in autumn 1864.

The new features and Facebook posts with quotes from Union prisoners are timed to the 150th anniversary of Camp Lawton, which began operations about Oct. 10, 1864.

The website, which has a brief history of the camp and the Civil War prison experience, now has an “artifact of the week.” The first item, posted Monday, is a 3D Union brass coat button. "Several of these buttons have been recovered from the prisoners' encampment at Camp Lawton, and probably represent a trade item or form of currency in the camp," the page says.

(Courtesy GSU)
A descendant’s page includes information on individuals related to a Confederate guard and two Union soldiers. Nina Raeth, whose great-grandfather, an German immigrant, was held captive at Lawton, and Doug Carter, whose Georgia ancestor guarded the prisoners, have become fast friends in recent years.

GSU is seeking other descendants who might share their stories.

Lance Greene, assistant professor of anthropology, said the related Facebook posts about camp life will last through November 22, the last day of the prison’s existence. Greene said future website upgrades will feature more information on archaeology and artifact conservation, including a lab at GSU that includes water and alcohol baths, electrolysis and air abrasion.

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