Camp Lawton
Near Millen, GA

Photos/text courtesy of Richard Edling, Philadelphia, PA

Granite marker photo courtesy of Mike Stroud, SC

For any use of these photos contact

Camp Lawton Artifacts
Courtesy of Lee Hohenstein, NE

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  Andersonville, GA
  Blackshear Prison Camp, GA
  Thomasville Prison Camp, GA
  More Georgia Civil War Sites

1. Exterior and Interior of Millen Prison Pen:
2. Georgia State Parks - Magnolia Springs State Park
3. Millen, Georgia - Wikipedia
4. New Georgia Encyclopedia: Civil War Prisons

5. Archaeologists look for "World's Largest Prison"
6. Finding Camp Lawton | Footnote Blog
7. Camp Lawton - Index of: USGenWebArchives
8. AII POW-MIA InterNetwork
9. Camp Lawton Marker:

10. Old Fort Lawton (historical), Jenkins County, GA - Maps
11. Historic Sites - Jenkins County, Georgia
12. Confederate Digest: Camp Lawton - The World's Largest Prison
13. Camp Lawton Civil War artifacts to be revealed - WTOC, Savannah
14. Sherpa Guides | Georgia | Civil War | Millen Area
15. Georgia DNR, Historic Preservation Division - Camp Lawton
16. Camp Lawton Archeaology

Camp Lawton, a huge prisoner of war camp occupying 40 acres and designed to hold 40,000 men, was built in September 1864 to relieve congestion at Camp Sumter at Andersonville and to remove the possibility of Gen. W.T. Sherman's army freeing prisoners there. Built by a force of 300 prisoners and 500 slaves, the camp was a log stockade, with guard towers on the walls, and a ditch dug within the walls for a deadline. On high ground surrounding the prison, three earthen forts were excavated and armed with cannon to prevent escape and guard from attacks. One of the reasons the prison was located here was the large, pure spring, which could supply ample water to the prisoners; and the second reason involved the Augusta Railroad, located one mile from the camp. If the camp was threatened, prisoners could be loaded on trains and moved north to Augusta or south to Savannah, and to other points from there.

The first prisoners began arriving in October 1864. By November, 10,299 were held here. On Nov. 25, 1864, the camp was abandoned in advance of Sherman's "March to the Sea," and the prisoners were first sent to other camps, including temporary ones in Blackshear and Thomasville, Georgia, then back to Andersonville. The camp was not much better than Andersonville, and more than 700 prisoners died of disease, exposure, and malnutrition in the brief time it was open. When the Left Wing entered the prison, they were enraged at the conditions they found there, including a long, freshly filled pit with a board that read, "650 Buried Here." The Left Wing burned the stockade. Today, the spring is the site of Magnolia Springs Park. The earthworks remain and historical markers outside and inside the park tell part of the story. The railroad town of Millen had a beautiful depot and hotel which were burned when Sherman's men came through on Dec. 3, 1864. The local Chamber of Commerce, located in the new depot, built 1915, has a large picture of the prison, various displays, and a historical tour guide to homes in the county.


(June 2008) Enlarge Fort Lawton: Camp Lawton during the Civil War

(June 2008) Enlarge Camp Lawton interpretive marker



(June 2008) Enlarge Camp Lawton interpretive marker

(June 2008) Enlarge Camp Lawton breastworks trail

(June 2008) Enlarge Camp Lawton earthworks from the outside


(June 2008) Enlarge Earthworks from the outside

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