Friday, January 6, 2012

Relics from Sherman's Army

During the last days of the American Civil War, Sherman’s army had nearly 100,000 troops marching through North Carolina, pushing back Johnston’s Confederates as they advanced north.  Jim from Silent Remnants invited me to help him search a site along one of the roads used by some of these Union forces.

When we arrived on site we were greeted by some of the most welcoming land owners I’ve yet encountered.  They were very helpful in directing us to promising locations and explaining the history of the area.  The biggest challenge with this particular location was the brush.  The spot we searched was well back in the woods, filled with some of the thickest brambles and underbrush I’ve ever been through.  We did more walking than detecting, doing a site survey to locate good areas.

In the places we did swing, however, we were able to recover a few period finds.  I chanced upon the first item right in the path, a bent up piece of period brass.  Unfolding it revealed a toe plate from a soldier’s boot.  We also found another small area of relics, perhaps where a soldier sat down to rest.  In a short time I had recovered four 58 caliber Minie balls, and the base portion of a Williams cleaner bullet.  The last signal in the area was rock solid, and higher than that of the previously dug bullets.  I was so happy to pull out a big copper disc – my first large cent of 2012.  The penny is lacking a date, and the condition leaves a lot to be desired, but it may be my favorite dug coin yet.  Finding it in that location along with other items from the Civil War leaves little doubt that it was carried and lost by a Union soldier nearly 150 years ago.  I'm very happy to have been given the opportunity to recover these historic items.  Thanks for reading and God bless!

1 comment:

  1. As a coin shooter, I am drooling over that LC! It is also very nice that you can place the context under which it was dropped.

    Good hunt.