|Civil War Prison Camp Site at Thomasville, Georgia|
The prison camp at Thomasville was opened on December 6, 1864, when thousands of Union prisoners began arriving in the city from the Confederate prison facility at Blackshear, Georgia. General William Tecumseh Sherman was burning a path through Georgia on this infamous March to the Sea and the Confederate military was forced to move prisoners of war from camps along his path.
|Surviving Ditch at Thomasville Civil War Prison Site|
|Historical Marker at Prison Camp Site|
The prison was used for only three weeks until the threat of a Union raid up the railroad from the Atlantic Coast to Thomasville caused Confederate authorities to march the prisoners overland to Albany, Georgia, where they were placed on rail cars and sent on to Camp Sumter at Andersonville.
|Surviving Corner of Prison Camp Site|
Although Newton later denied that Thomasville had been his goal, newspaper reporters and even U.S. Navy officers who accompanied his expedition up the Gulf wrote that he planned to take St. Marks and Tallahassee, Florida, before crossing the Georgia border and liberating the Federal prisoners at Thomasville.
The expedition, of course, ended in disaster at the Battle of Natural Bridge. It would have ended in failure even had the Federals won that battle, though, because the prisoners from Thomasville had been gone for over two months by the time the fight at Natural Bridge took place.
To learn more about the Civil War Prison Site at Thomasville, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/thomasvilleprison.
To learn more about the Battle of Natural Bridge, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/nbindex.
My book, The Battle of Natural Bridge, Florida (Expanded Edition), is available at Amazon.com in both book and Kindle formats and through all other major bookseller websites in book form.