In 2005, the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) and Brockington and Associates performed excavations at the Roughton Browne Cemetery in Washington County, Georgia. The cemetery was moved to Brownwood Cemetery in Sandersville, Georgia because of a highway widening project on SR 24/SR 540. Before GDOT moved the cemetery, the Roughton Browne cemetery contained 15 graves and an obelisk that identified the grave site of a Civil War prisoners of war (POW) group, the Immortal 600. Following the relocation of the cemetery, the GDOT and partners developed a teaching package that explained the role of the Immortal 600 along with a broader history of the Civil War. This type of archaeological project is an important model because it shows a collaborative process. GDOT partnered with the Federal Highway Administration, the Georgia Department of Education, the Georgia Technology Authority, and the History Workshop at Brockington and Associates to develop the educational tools.
The Immortal 600 was a group of Confederate POWs from the 1800s. These Confederate prisoners were brought to Morris Island in Charleston, South Carolina from Fort Delaware. On Morris Island, the Confederate prisoners were placed in an area that was between Federal and Confederate troops and therefore received gun and canon fire from both armies. The prisoners spent 45 days on Morris Island before they were moved to Fort Pulaski in Georgia.
The teaching package component of this project was developed in 2008 and 2009 and it includes eighth grade lesson plans. Through the package's lessons and videos, students learn about the Immortal 600, the treatment of POWs, and the Civil War reconstruction in Georgia. The lessons also focus on the life of a member of the Immortal 600, George W. Roughton, as well as the Roughton family. Students learn about the role of local governments and laws during a public meeting to determine the passage of a cemetery relocation permit.
GDOT made an effort to ensure the accuracy and quality of the lesson plans. GDOT worked on the teaching package in partnership with the Georgia Department of Education, which ensured that the contents met the State's performance standards. The material was available on the Georgia Public Broadcasting's education division "Georgia Stories." Stakeholders, such as the Georgia Council for the Social Studies, the Civil War Preservation Trust, the National Council for the Social Studies, and Georgia Public Broadcasting, introduced the lessons to the teaching community in Georgia as well as other States. Lastly, a video documentary was developed to play at the Fort Pulaski National Monument Visitor Center.
The lessons introduce Civil War history to students from a new and interactive perspective and in a format that meets the Georgia Department of Education performance standards. This project promotes public outreach and education. In addition to the education and teaching package, the project fulfills the public need for a new transportation facility and improved conditions and protection for the cemetery.
For more information, contact Eric Anthony Duff, Cultural Resources Section Chief, Georgia Department of Transportation, Office of Environmental Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.