Nearly 150 years after it was left behind at a Civil War prison camp, the 3-inch clay pipestem still shows a Union soldier's teeth marks.The site is remote and is on federal land, jutting into a state park as well, so it is largely undisturbed. It provides a wonderful opportunity to see into the lives of the people involved.
The pipe, whose stem features the name of its manufacturer, proves the resourcefulness of a prisoner who really wanted his tobacco. He fashioned the bowl from lead, possibly by melting rifle bullets.
No one knows what became of the unknown soldier at Camp Lawton, which during its short existence in south Georgia was the Confederacy's largest prison camp.
"His name his been lost to history but his story has not," said Kevin Chapman, who led a group of college students that found the exact location of the camp's slave-built stockade and, in the soil beneath tall pine trees, nearly 200 artifacts.
Those are the first of what is expected to be a treasure of artifacts that will bear witness to the lives of prisoners and the horrors they endured.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Undisturbed artifacts will detail lives of Civil War prisoners