Article: Her image had been buried near a Civil War battlefield for 100 years. Then I found her.

Belle Montgomery

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#1
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My metal detector gave a loud signal as I swept its coil over the freshly cleared earth. I had just dug up several Civil War bullets a few feet away, but this signal sounded different. It was louder, and registered much higher on my detector’s meter than the bullets. Perhaps, I thought, I was about to dig up a Civil War belt buckle? Finding a Civil War buckle is always at the top of my wish list when relic hunting.


The year was 1992 and I was scanning a construction site in Centreville, which was a busy crossroads during the Civil War. The Battles of First and Second Bull Run, and the Battle of Blackburn’s Ford were fought nearby.


I was part of small group of “diggers” that chased the bulldozers around Northern Virginia, trying to salvage Civil War artifacts at construction sites before the topsoil was stripped away and the relics lost forever, buried under roads and housing developments. During the 1990s, the woods and fields around Centreville were getting developed at an extremely fast rate.


I knelt down and began to slowly dig a hole where my metal detector had produced the signal,...
Rest of Article:https://www.washingtonpost.com/hist...civil-war-battlefield-years-then-i-found-her/
 

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Mrs. V

First Sergeant
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May 5, 2017
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#4
Kinda reminds me of a show my son and I watch called, “Time Team” they did digs in Britain, and the premise was always “in 3 days”. I really enjoyed the article, and one of these days I really want to go relic hunting. I don’t mind digging in the mud!
 

JPK Huson 1863

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#5
It's a wonderful find and haunting image. No one needs my input considering the experts named in the article but my first impression was " Southern woman ". Wish I could define why that's the impression. Jewelry, dress and hair just seem like what we see - it's not comprehensive but images of those in the north tend to be ' heavier ', nothing to do with weight.

Love to read some article in the future where he discovers her name and who carried her image to war.
 
Joined
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#6
It's a wonderful find and haunting image. No one needs my input considering the experts named in the article but my first impression was " Southern woman ". Wish I could define why that's the impression. Jewelry, dress and hair just seem like what we see - it's not comprehensive but images of those in the north tend to be ' heavier ', nothing to do with weight.

Love to read some article in the future where he discovers her name and who carried her image to war.
My first thoughts were, that a soldier took an image of his wife, mother, or sweetheart with him to War. After reading the entire article, it appears as if the negative was lost years afterward. Regardless, a great and inspiring find.
 

byron ed

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#7
My first thoughts were, that a soldier took an image of his wife, mother, or sweetheart with him to War. After reading the entire article, it appears as if the negative was lost years afterward. Regardless, a great and inspiring find.
The clue of how the woman is dressed is the only thing that suggests this is an Antebellum / Civil War period image at all. According to the article, the original artifact (which has not been found) was not the thing dug up, but rather this halftoned (converted into dots) printer's plate copy of the original artifact, made for a printing press later in the century. That means this object itself was never carried with a Civil War Beau during the war, even if the original artifact was.

Best we can imagine is that the original artifact (which has not been found) might have been carried by a Civil War soldier, but it's equally possible it had nothing at all to do with the war, a soldier or his sweetheart. Sorry, I'd rather the soldier sweetheart thing too.
 
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