Discussion Interesting Find Near Nathaniel Harris' Mississippians

Jul 19, 2016
Spotsylvania Virginia
Like most of the south-eastern United States, the temperatures here in the Spotsylvania Virginia area have been scorching this summer. For us “old-timer” relic hunters it’s difficult waiting for a welcoming fall and cooler weather so we can stick our diggin’ tools back in the ground.

Four years ago, I stumbled upon a map showing BG William Mahon’s Division’s position from the evening of May 9 through the morning of May 11th​ 1864. I am unable to show the map due to copyright issues, plus a good relic hunter never gives his “secrete” places away. But Mahone’s position caught my eye because it was only a mile from my house and the far left of Lee’s line.

Mahone had his troops spread across a civil war era road that still exists as a modern-day state road. Facing the enemy, Perrin was on the right side of the road and the reminder of Mahone’s Division was on the left side. They were positioned right to left; Perrin, Harris, Perry, Wright with Weisiger in reserve behind Wright.

Regiments and Others
Anderson's Division
BG William Mahone
Perrin's Brigade

BG Abner M. Perrin (k)
Col John C. C. Sanders
8th Alabama
9th Alabama
10th Alabama
11th Alabama: Col John C. C. Sanders
14th Alabama
Mahone's Brigade

Col David A. Weisiger
6th Virginia
12th Virginia
16th Virginia
41st Virginia
61st Virginia
Harris's Brigade

BG Nathaniel H. Harris
12th Mississippi
16th Mississippi
19th Mississippi
48th Mississippi
Perry's Brigade

Col David Lang[33]​
2nd Florida
5th Florida
8th Florida
Wright's Brigade

BG Ambrose R. Wright
3rd Georgia
22nd Georgia
48th Georgia
2nd Georgia Battalion
10th Georgia Battalion
Courtesy of Wickpedia

The location of Perrin’s Alabamans’ is now a farm owned by a close friend. Although he granted me permission to relic hunt his farm, I decided to start with the position of Harris’ Mississippi troops and work my way toward Wright’s Georgians because that portion is wooded. (For those of you not familiar with relic hunting, wooded areas are preferred for several reasons.)

Harris had his troops placed right to left 16th​, 19th​, 12th​ 48th​. My first day at the site, several years ago produced an interesting find behind Harris’ breastworks. I think was a riding crop but would like your expert thoughts. The handle is pure silver and the shaft (what was left of it) is whale bone, I was told. I thought I would share it with my CWT relic hunting friends since I am unsure if it was indeed a riding crop. The first photo shows the top of the handle. The engraving is difficult to read in the photo but it’s in the Ole English style script and it is the initials LWH. It was found directly behind the position of the 16th​ and 19th​Mississippi, but it was near the site of a slit trench, so it could have come from any of Harris’ men.





The initials LWH of course does not match BG Nathaniel H. Harris but because the handle is silver, I presume it might have belonged to a prominent person in Harris, command.