During Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman's 1864 "March to the Sea," Confederate officials hastily made plans to evacuate a number of existing POW camps and relocate their occupants farther from the Federal army. As Blackshear is deep in southeast Georgia in a pine forest, it was thought to be a safe place for this relocation. The new prison was simply an open camp in a remote place, surrounded by a guardline, including some heavy artillery pieces. During the month of November in 1864, some 5,000 Union soldiers began arriving at Blackshear. The first shipment of 600 prisoners arrived by the Atlantic and Gulf Railroad on November 16 from Savannah. Within a few weeks, the population had swelled to nearly 5,000.
As Sherman approached the coastline, most of the prisoners were further evacuated to Charleston, South Carolina and other places. By December, the "corral" at Blackshear was empty of Union prisoners. Approximately 27 Union soldiers were buried in Blackshear until the close of the war, when they were reinterred at Beaufort National Cemetery, Beaufort, South Carolina. Their names are unknown.
- "Blackshear Prison Camp". Pierce County Historical and Genealogical Society. Retrieved February 17, 2011.
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