Archive for August, 2010
Battle of Lovejoy Redefined
August 24, 2010
In 1993 the National Park Service defined the battle and battlefield of Lovejoy Station, Georgia for a congressionally-mandated study of Civil War battlefields in America. That definition was off the mark. In 2007 an archaeological study of the Nash Farm near Lovejoy by the LAMAR Institute yielded new information on Civil War action in the Lovejoy area. Even more recently, archaeological survey for the Georgia Department of Transportation has substantially expanded the Civil War military landscape at Lovejoy. The National Park Service, American Battlefield Protection Program reassessed the Civil War battlefields in America, including the battle of Lovejoy. Their reconfigured map greatly expands the battlefield landscape to incorporate many of the findings from the two recent archaeological studies.
A recent article by Johnny Jackson in the Henry Daily Herald stated:
“Validation has come for Nash Farm Battlefield’s role in the American Civil War.
The battlefield has been designated by the National Park Service as one of 384 core battlefields of the Civil War, according to Julie Hoover-Ernst, communications director for Henry County.
“This is the highest validation a battlefield can receive, and the designation was given upon the completion of the comprehensive update to the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission [or CWSAC] Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields published in June 2010,” Hoover-Ernst said, in a written statement.
The updated report, from CWSAC’s American Battlefield Protection Program, was based on interviews with historians and experts, and includes the designation of the Battle of Lovejoy’s Station in Clayton County, according to Henry County Civil War Historian Mark Pollard.
Pollard said the new report was based on a 2008 survey of the Battle of Lovejoy’s Station, which prompted surveyors to redraw the battlefield boundaries originally set during a 1993 survey. The civil war historian said the expanded boundaries incorporate parts of Lovejoy and Hampton, providing a more accurate and complete picture of the Union’s advance into Lovejoy’s Station in late August of 1864, when Union Soldiers were met by Confederate Soldiers along the Macon and Western Railroad, in present-day Lovejoy.
He said the battle continued to move eastward into Hampton, expanding into the wavy terrain of Nash Farm Battlefield toward Walnut Creek in unincorporated Henry County. “When they resurveyed in 2008, they expanded the battlefields to reflect the calvary battles that stretched from Lovejoy to Walnut Creek,” said Pollard. “The biggest change in the survey is the overall size of the battlefield, which has been increased to reflect the approach at Nash Farm Battlefield, the only portion of the battle that has been preserved.”
Nash Farm Battlefield was acquired by the Henry County Board of Commissioners in 2005, he added. The property now serves dual purposes as a venue for county events, as well as recreational and educational Civil War re-enactments. He said a segment of land across Jonesboro Road from the Nash Farm Battlefield site, was also recently designated by the National Park Service as an endangered battlefield site.
The 204-acre Nash Farm Battlefield, on the other hand, is the only segment of the roughly 1,180-acre Lovejoy’s Station core battlefield area that is preserved, according to John Culpepper, chairman of the Georgia Civil War Commission. Culpepper, who also took part in the 2008 survey, noted that the battlefield is one of only 27 battlefields in the state eligible for a listing in the National Register of Historic Places. “You’ve got a treasure here,” Culpepper said. “It used to be a well-known place locally, but now it’s getting worldwide attention.”
“It basically puts Nash Farm Battlefield on the radar of the world,” added Pollard. “Nash Farm Battlefield was a significant part of the Battle of Lovejoy’s Station. And anybody can look up that battle, and come and see a portion of that battlefield that has been preserved.”
Pollard said he believes Nash Farm’s designation is reason to continue preserving the property for future generations to experience. “Just to be recognized by the National Park Service is an awesome thing,” he said. “It would be hard to imagine a battlefield when the landscape has been changed. At Nash Farm Battlefield, you can imagine what took place so many years ago. You can connect the landscape to the history, and the history to the actual soldiers who were mounted on the horses that charged across that field.”
The 2010 revised National Park Service report on Georgia’s Civil War battlefields for the portion including Lovejoy is available online to those interested. The address is:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Daniel T. Elliott, The LAMAR Institute, Inc., P.O. Box 2992, Savannah, GA 31402
LAMAR Institute Aids in Discovery of Confederate Prison Near Millen
(MILLEN, GA., July 31, 2010; UPDATE October 6, 2012) The LAMAR Institute, Inc. participated in a search for Camp Lawton, a military prison built north of Millen, Georgia by the Confederates in late 1864 to house more than 30,000 U.S. Army prisoners. The search for the prison began in December, 2009 with a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey for the southwestern corner of the prison stockade at Magnolia Springs State Park. After getting a feel of the topography and the likely layout of the prison site as generally conceived, some discrepancy in the only available historical maps became evident to the research team. The two maps available for reference seemed less accurate than previously thought. A minimally-invasive evaluation was performed with a metal detector . This tool, augmented along with GPR data, was used to get a feel of whatever prison “footprint” might still be present. Promising areas were immediately identified. One particular area, however, clearly stood out as likely being inside the prison and possibly adjacent to a stockade wall boundary, The discoveries were made south of a small creek documented as running directly through the prison yard. Armed with this new evidence, a quick reassessment of the prison layout was theorized. The long held belief, that the larger portion of the prison site was now the location of the Bo Ginn Aquarium facility and former U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services fish hatchery, came in question. An unexplored wooded area just west of this facility was now suspected to contain a portion of the Civil War prison. A quick reconnaissance of the wooded tract was made. Our crew believed that this property was within the Magnolia Springs State Park property. This particular tract had changed hands several times in recent years and was currently Federally-owned property under the control of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. As it turned out, this misunderstanding yielded huge dividends in unmasking the ruins of Camp Lawton, After a very limited and quick evaluation by Georgia Southern University (GSU) anthropologists, the true site of the prison was confirmed. The brick ruins of a documented brick oven complex built fot the use of the prison., was tentatively identified. If this is indeed one of the brick ovens, and the placement of this feature on historical maps was accurate, then the location of the prison shifts further to the west of what was previously theorized. Further testing by GSU confirmed that this was the correct prison site location. Camp Lawton, once thought to be an insignificant Civil War site in our state, now appears to offer a great opportunity for understanding the daily life of Prisoners of War during the War Between the States.
UPDATE!!! OCTOBER 4th 2012—
Here is video from October 4, 2012 showing the deep trench and palisade post remnant along the southern stockade wall at Camp Lawton. Unearthed by Time Team America–at the location where GPR survey by The LAMAR Institute’s geophysical team indicated a large, deep soil disturbance most likely to be Camp Lawton. Other video footage showing the feature is posted on youtube.com.
Take this Job
August 12, 2010
When I was a young lad in college, I took a summer job canning drinks for Coca Cola. It was a hot miserable job on an evening shift, where we made millions of canned cola that summer. One afternoon before heading to work, my father and I lay in two rope hammocks in our front yard on Soapstone Ridge, DeKalb County, Georgia. One of our neighbors, Dr. Driggers, was hosting a barbecue fundraiser for Sheriff Pat Jarvis’ reelection campaign. My father and I had absolutely no interest in attending and our conversation dealt with antiquities, family lore, and fresh work experiences. As we swang and talked our conversation was suddenly shattered by the amplified strains of Johnny Paycheck and his band with a strong intro to his hit song, “Take This Job and Shove It”. Startled at first and then without speaking, my father, who had recently retired after 35 years at the Ford Motor Company factory, and I, simply smiled at each other and enjoyed the song. Johnny sang the entire song, followed by silence. We continued to swing without speaking for another 20 minutes, then I got up, climbed in the family Ford and drove to work. I thought of that moment when I heard the recent news story about Mr. Slater and Jet Blue. Payday was never like this!