Trivia Question 1-10-19 Unusual Discovery

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Trivia Master

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#1
On June 4, 1864, following the failed Federal assault on Confederate lines at Cold Harbor, members of of Wright's Sixth Corps discovered an unusual object while digging trench works. Speculation for the object being at Cold Harbor was the the community's name, even though it is located 15 miles from navigable water. What did they find?

credit: @ErnieMac
 

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A “Fresnel lens,” such as are placed in the largest lighthouses, was found buried near a house in Wright’s front. The lens is manufactured only in Paris, and costs from $2000 to $3000. How it came to be in this vicinity is a mystery. The most probable hypothesis is that it is a part of the plunder of some one of the lighthouses which the rebels have despoiled. The facetious explanation is that it must have been sent by some ignorant official to Cold Harbor, he supposing that place to be a port of entry, and that it fell into the hands of some citizen of the locality.- Nashville Union, June 14, 1864.

Incidentally, in the Battle of Second Cold Harbor, soldiers discovered skeletal remains while digging trenches.
 
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#8
skeletal remains from the first battle

Edit - You picked a real tough question for your first attempt at playing the trivia game, breeze. A lot of other players couldn't find the correct answer, either.

Welcome to CivilWarTalk and to the trivia game. Hope you'll come back and play again.

However, I offer a note of caution. If you enter two posts with two different answers in response to a question, I have to consider that the second post contains your final answer and in that case, the first post does not count.

hoosier
 
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#10
Preliminary search didn't find anything. I hope the answer isn't in an nps.gov site, because I keep getting messages that some of their websites are down. Contemporary politics rearing its ugly head! Will keep looking, since I have until Sunday night.

It's generally believed that Cold Harbor, VA was named for the British term for an inn that offered overnight accommodation but didn't serve hot meals. That doesn't help find the interesting unknown object, though!
 

luinrina

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#11
This was hard to find! Nothing came up on Google, no matter what keywords I used. My savior was my unread books pile :laugh::

Men of Wright's 6th Corps found - among other treasures - a multifaceted Fresnel lens, constructed for a lighthouse and manufactured in Paris. The value was $3,000.

Source: Gordon C. Rhea's On to Petersburg - Grant and Lee June 4-15, 1864, p. 40
 
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#12
After hours of search I still cannot come up with anything related to "navigable water".
The only unusual objects I could trace that were found by the VIth Corps were "skeletal remains", which are my reply to this question.

The battle was fought in central Virginia, 10 miles from Richmond. Soldiers were disturbed to discover skeletal remains from the first Battle First Cold Harbor while digging their positions. Cold Harbor was a rural crossroads named for a hotel located in the area, which provided shelter (harbor), but not hot meals. It is located 10 miles from Richmond.
http://www.americancivilwar101.com/battles/640531-cold-harbor.html

The other objects found were bloody diaries, in which the last entry was "June 3rd: I died" or "June 3rd: I was killed". Not exactly a connection to "navigable waters" either, but heartbreaking none the less.

So, I hope someone will find proof of the discovery of an anchor or a sextant or maybe even a message in a bottle that was dug up on June 4, 1864.

I may add that I cannot remember a previous month that had so many difficult questions right at the beginning. Congrats in advance should anyone be able to win all available points this months!
 
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#13
The battle was fought in central Virginia, in what is now Mechanicsville, over the same ground as the Battle of Gaines's Mill during the Seven Days Battles of 1862. Some accounts refer to the 1862 battle as the First Battle of Cold Harbor, and the 1864 battle as the Second Battle of Cold Harbor. Union soldiers were disturbed to discover skeletal remains from the first battle in 1862 while entrenching. Cold Harbor was not a port city, despite its name. Rather, it described two rural crossroads named for the Cold Harbor Tavern (owned by the Isaac Burnett family) which provided shelter (harbor) but not hot meals. Old Cold Harbor stood two miles east of Gaines's Mill, and New Cold Harbor a mile southeast
source:https://wikivisually.com/wiki/Battle_of_Cold_Harbor
 
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WJC

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#14
On June 4, 1864, following the failed Federal assault on Confederate lines at Cold Harbor, members of of Wright's Sixth Corps discovered an unusual object while digging trench works. Speculation for the object being at Cold Harbor was the the community's name, even though it is located 15 miles from navigable water. What did they find?

credit: @ErnieMac
Remains of a boat.
 
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#15
A multifaceted Fresnel lens originally constructed for a lighthouse.

Source

Is it just me or have the questions been tough lately? All I can say is thank goodness for friends!!! Of course in my case, you can lead me to water and I still may not be able to find it. :giggle: Great question @ErnieMac, but it drove me nuts!!!
 
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