Thursday I went out with my friend and coworker Keith, and we almost immediately started hitting Sharps carbine and pistol bullets, indicating Federal cavalry as we expected for the site. They were all over in that field! Even though we took an extended break in the middle of the day, we both cleaned up in bullets. I got three buttons for the day, all cuff size. One was just the back, one a terrible condition GS, and one eagle Infantry with a little gilt still on.
I'm also happy with four percussion caps, as I've never dug those surface hunting before, so that was fun. The percussion cap is a very small brass cup filled with ignitable material. The cap is placed on the nipple of the gun. When struck by the hammer, it lights the gunpowder and sends the bullet down range.
Yesterday I went out with a forum friend, Joe aka Spectra1. We headed out in the cold wind to a spot that's been good for some deep bullets in the past. He started out with the XP Deus and I had the GPX, and then we switched part way through the day. We spent a lot of time comparing signal resonse on the two machines.
The bullets were all fairly deep, and the ground somewhat mineralized. Not "Culpeper bad", but in that direction. The deus was barely able to squeak out a signal in some of the bullets found with the GPX, and not at all on others. We did find one of the bullets with the deus first, and it was considerable shallower, maybe 6 inches, and finally gave a solid response at that depth. The ground was just too hot for that machine to perform to its best ability. The rest of the bullets all came from the GPX, whosever hands it was in at the time. I was happy to see Joe find a couple of Williams cleaners, a bucket list item that he hasn't been able to check off despite his laundry list of rare CW recoveries.
But the find of the day went to the deus! I got an iffy type signal, better in that ground than iron and worth digging, but not ideal. I flipped the plug, and brushed away the dirt on the bottom and my eyes were met by a beautiful block "I" Confederate infantry button staring back up at me! Woohoo!! It's my first confederate letter button, pewter/white metal one piece with full stand up shank and awesome condition. They don't come out too much better.
So how did this Confederate button end up in the middle of the decidedly Union camp? There are many possibilities. It could have come from a captured soldier, of been taken as a souve of the war. The most likely explanation comes from the land itself. It lends itself strongly to a camp area along the old road, so it is probable that it was used as a camp or brief stop off for both sides. There may be more Confederate relics to find, or this could be the only evidence of a short detour off the main path. But I do know I intend to search it more thoroughly to find out!
All in all, two great days in the fields sharing history with friends. That's what it's all about. But I'm tired and sore, so I guess it's time to relax with the family for the weekend and the big game. If you made it this far, thanks for reading and happy hunting!