DIV got off to a great start today! I hunted with my NC detecting friends most of the day. The highly mineralized soil of Northern Virginia makes finding targets with a VLF detector (like my White's DFX) rather difficult at times, and I dug a LOT of scrap iron as a result. The corn stalks made detecting somewhat challenging as well. But there were plenty of good targets to find, and I’m very happy with the results of my first day out.
In addition to some broken glass and melted camp lead, I recovered a total of twelve bullets. I found another 69 caliber Minie ball which are massive bullets and always a pleasure to find. You may recall that I found several 69 Caliber Minies in this same area at DIV XX in March 2011. The three ring bullet with a post on the base is a Williams Cleaner Type 1, a welcome change from the Type 3 zinc plunger cleaners we typically find at late-war sites in North Carolina. My favorite bullet for the day is a melted round ball from a type of ammunition known as “buck and ball.” This round includes a large round ball on the bottom and three smaller buckshot balls on top, firing additional projectiles with each shot for an increased chance of striking the enemy. This particular buck and ball round appears to have been melted in a fire, and one of the loose buck balls has fused to the larger round bullet.
I also recovered two Union general service eagle buttons. One has significant damage to the front (likely from a plow), but the other is in excellent condition and has a gorgeous green patina. I’ll post better pictures of the buttons in my DIV recap post at the end of the hunt.
The best find that I witnessed today was in the form of multiple bullets in one hole – a LOT of bullets! At the end of the day the count was well over 100 Minie balls, and there were clearly more in the hole. We can only speculate why so many were either lost, forgotten, or discarded all at once.
Well, I’m incredibly sore from 10 hours of non-stop digging, so it’s back to bed so I can do it all again tomorrow! Thanks for reading!