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April 20, 2014

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SC archeologists race to uncover Civil War prison

Updated Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014 | 7:50 a.m.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina archeologists are racing to uncover the remnants of a Civil War-era prisoner-of-war camp in Columbia before the site is cleared for commercial development.

The researchers have four months to excavate what was once known as "Camp Asylum." The Confederate camp held 1,500 Union officers during the winter of 1864-65 and was located on the grounds of a mental hospital.

Archaeologist Chester DePratter says the soldiers had little in the way of food or cover, so they dug holes in the ground to shelter themselves against the harsh weather.

Tours are being conducted to help bring attention and raise money for the archaeology project before a developer breaks ground on a mixed-use development.