Sunday, June 15, 2014

Finally got my coil to the soil again!

Hey everyone!  Well, my schedule's been pretty tight this year, and I've been working like a dog. No offense to dogs. BUT I did finally managed to get away last weekend and do some real digging for the first time since DIV.  Even better still, I managed to find a few Civil War relics to show for it.  The artifacts were all quite shallow in a gently sloping pasture, but EMI from nearby electrical lines still made it a bit of a challenge.

The bullets are all standard three ring Minie balls.  The lead glob shows just enough of the rings to know it had been a bullet as well, before it melted.  The large brass object is a bayonet scabbard tip.  I have found both the tube and finial portions of a scabbard tip in the past, but this was my first time finding them both still attached. 

The smaller button is just a back, the front having been previously destroyed.  Miraculously though, it still has some thread on the shank.  this is only the second period button I have found with thread intact, the first being a Virginia coat button found right here in Saxapahaw.

The large, highly gilded button is a civilian "flower button" featuring a grape and leaves motif.  The button backmark is "Benedict and Burnham Extra."  Aaron Benedict and Gordon Burnham manufactured buttons with this mark from 1834 to 1849, before the company was reorganized as the Waterbury Button Company, which still exists to the present day.  Benedict and Burnham buttons are well known to collectors as having excellent gold gilding, and many dug examples retain a significant amount of gold.  Although not a military button and designed exclusively for civilian clothing, similar buttons (and even this exact style) are often found in and around Civil War campsites.  It is very likely, given the lack of other period household items, that this button was soldier-worn.  Of course, we will never know for certain, as the nearby road predates the War by many decades.

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