Defining a Civil War battlefield: recent archaeological investigations at the Pickett's Mill State Historic Site, Paulding County, Georgia.


Geography & Anthropology

Document Type


Publication Date

Winter 2007


Recent investigations at the Pickett's Mill State Historic Site have yielded new insights into the Civil War battle that occurred in May 1864. Military and historical sources have documented that the major battle took place in a ravine, but that skirmishes also occurred in adjacent areas, including a large, open wheat field. Some reports have suggested that Confederate soldiers had forced Union troops out of the ravine into this field where they became exposed. In the summer of 2006 a variety of different archaeological techniques were employed to determine what role the wheat field played in the battle. This paper describes the archaeological techniques that were used and their effectiveness in identifying and recovering military items associated with the battle. Among them, metal detectors proved to be the most effective tool with hundreds of artifacts being recovered from the site.