According to one source, shortly after the end of the Civil War, Camp Lawton's few permanent structures, including its prisoner stockade, burned. The grounds quickly reverted to their previous use as farmland. Over the years, nature and man erased all traces of the prison site, except for its earthworks. In 2006 and 2007, archaeologists used ground penetrating radar to search for faint traces of the stockade which might yet remain.
Due to the destruction of many Confederate records and Camp Lawton's short period of existence, the precise locations of the stockade, its defenses, and related structures have proved elusive. Ground penetrating radar (GPR) can detect differences in soil density several feet below the surface. GPR use at Magnolia Springs showed the outlines of a large squarish structure beneath the park's main parking lot. Analysis suggests this outline may be all that remains of the stockade's main gate.
At Magnolia Springs, archaeologists from the Georgia Department of Transportation's Office of Environment/Location laid out a grid in areas of the park to be investigated. Next, they pulled the GPR equipment over the grid lines to record the data. They investigated several areas of the park while attempting to determine the exact location of the stockade and other Camp Lawton features.
Once data from the ground penetrating radar studies are analyzed, archaeologists often excavate where subsurface imaging indicates the presence of buried features. Features may be the remains of walls, posts, fire pits, roads, paths, etc. At Magnolia Springs, a small excavation exposed what might be traces of the pointed wooden spikes that formed a defensive barrier around the camp's gun emplacements. Future excavations may reveal charred remains indicating that the stockade and other buildings were actually burned.
Ground penetrating radar equipment consists of two components. In this array, the front pack equipment records the signals from the unit that is pulled along the surface. The data is read and analyzed using specialized computer software.