Camp Shelby excavating antebellum homestead discovered on post

Camp Shelby excavating antebellum homestead discovered on post

CAMP SHELBY, MS (WDAM) - Some archaeologists at Camp Shelby have excavated an important historical site on post that was occupied decades before the first soldier ever trained there.

They have conducted digs at an antebellum estate that was built by Solomon Garraway, a settler who moved to Perry County from Georgia in the 1830's.

"This is the first antebellum site that's been excavated at Camp Shelby," said Rita McCarty, manager of the cultural resources program for the Mississippi National Guard.

The land has belonged to Camp Shelby since the 1930's and is used for training.

Several organizations and schools have been assisting with the excavation.

So far, it has yielded pieces of pottery, cut nails and other pre-Civil War items.

"This is kind of filling in the gaps of the history of Camp Shelby," McCarty said. "You have Native Americans, then the next occupations would have been the antebellum period. Then you have the post-bellum, which we have a good many sites that date after the Civil War."

Garraway and many of his descendants are buried at a cemetery near the homestead site that belongs to the family.

A great, great grandson of Garraway is assisting with the excavation.