December 2nd, 1864

Dec. 2nd, 1864:

Sherman and the Right Wing move into Millen.  Sherman stays here for a day so that he can communicate with all parts of his army.  Soldiers give reports of the deplorable conditions found at the abandoned Camp Lawton just north of town.  Nearly the entire town is burned to the ground over the next day or so.

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At one time this field was enclosed by a stockade and house overflow POW’s from Andersonville.  Now the site is Magnolia Springs State Park.  The POW’s had all been moved prior to the arrival of the Federal troops, but the Federals were able to witness the deplorable conditions first hand.
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Archeologist and their students from Georgia Southern University have been conducting digs onsite in an effort to better understand the conditions of the prison camp.
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Earthworks of the Fort that guarded the stockade at Camp Lawton are still visible with a hiking trail that leads area.
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These railroad tracks located less than a mile east of the stockade, carried prisoners to and from the stockade.  They would disembark the train here and march to camp down a dusty dirt road.  These tracks move north towards Augusta and south to Savannah.
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POW’s passed across these railroad tracks in Milen on their way to Camp Lawton just north of town.  Sherman’s forces destroyed much of the railroad in the area.
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Not much of Milen from before the Civil War exist today, as the Federals, angered by the nearby prison camp, burned the town to the ground.
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December 1st, 1864

Dec. 1st, 1864:

The Right Wing, who Sherman is now traveling with, is making its way towards Millen and passes through the area of Herndon and Birdsville, west of Millen.

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Birdsville Plantation, still a private residence and owned by the same family since the land was granted by the King in the 1700’s, was visited by elements of the Right Wing of Sherman’s Army.  Bummers, ransacked the house and in an attempt to find valuables, they dug up fresh graves in the family plot, all they found were the bodies of twin children that had recently died.  This home was built around 1789 and local legend holds that the home is haunted with apparitions, the sound of footsteps, voices, children crying and doors that open and close by their selves.
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A small community sprung up around the plantation and at one time this served as the school.
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A classic southern oak lined road leading to Birdsville Plantation.