After bidding farewell to our friends, we headed south. We stopped for the night at the Magnolia Springs State Park, near Millen, GA. It is known best for its clear springs that has been drawing people here for many years. The spring has an estimated water flow of seven million gallons per day. There is also an abandoned aquarium on the grounds that reportedly attracted up to 40K visitors a year for the few years it was open.
The campground is in an area near the lake with 26 sites for RVs and tents. There are tall trees providing some shade. A great place for rigs of all sizes. There are water craft available to cruise the lake and picnic areas to enjoy the scenery.
The park also has an important historical site on the grounds. During the Civil War, a prisoner of war camp was located here, called Camp Lawson. As the war dragged on, there was a need for another camp to hold the growing number of Union prisoners. This need became acute when the North ended the prisoner of war exchange program in the hopes that this would shorten the time it would take to defeat the South. We saw firsthand how awful the conditions in these camps were when we visited the Andersonville POW site. The design of this camp was nearly identical to the one in Andersonville, which more or less guaranteed horrific conditions for the prisoners, many of whom were sent here from Andersonville due to overcrowding. There were over ten thousand prisoners at the camp when it was abandoned as General Sherman made his march to the sea and Savannah. A small interpretive center is located next to the park check-in office. It is definitely worth the small fee to visit. Across the way you can walk thru some of the earthen works of this camp that are undergoing archaeological study.