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Millen Prison (Camp Lawton)

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Camp Lawton or the Millen Prison was a stockade which held the overflow of Union soldiers who been taken as prisoners-of-war at Andersonville during the American Civil War. It opened in October 1864 near Millen, Georgia, in Jenkins County and had to be evacuated within six weeks, due to the advance of Sherman's army through Georgia. With an area of 42 acres and holding over 10,000 of a planned 40,000 men, it was said to be the largest prison in the world at that time.

The area of Magnolia Springs State Park that now comprises the day-use area was used as the prison. The park still houses remnants of the earthen fort that guarded the 10,000-prisoner camp. Two huge timbers, possibly from the prison but more likely from work done by the Civilian Conservation Corps between 1938 and 1942, were recovered. The park's new History Center currently displays some of the first artifacts excavated by the archaeology team from Georgia Southern University. Georgia Southern's Sociology/Anthropology Department has been conducting surveys and excavations for a number of years at the park, serving as a partner in revealing and interpreting the history of Camp Lawton.