Once in a lifetime find - my 4th Great uncles Civil War Musket!

Ethan S.

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 19, 2019
Location
Carter County Kentucky
This past week I had the amazing opportunity to travel to wear my ancestors were born, raised, lived and died, the Lykens Valley in Pennsylvania. Everyone from my 8th Great grandfather, who came over on a boat from Germany in the 1750s, until even today, Trautmans and Troutmans (A Trautman married a Trautman way back when, I'm related to both) made their lives in Klingerstown, Pillow, Spain, Hebe and throughout the valley. A few of the older houses are still standing, like my 8th great grandfathers stone house built in the 1760s, (it's in shambles) and my 5th great grandfathers house built in 1834 (fantastic condition). These were the houses me and my dad went to go and photograph for posterity.

Originally we went to go see Peter Trautmans house, built in 1834 out of stone. The house is now owned by an amish family who at the time are adding an addition onto the old stone house and renovating the interior. The man who owned it was very kind and generous, and was eager to learn more about who lived there when it was built. I told him everything I knew about the occupants from 1834, until 1915, and he was intrigued. When we mentioned that we metal detect, he offered us permission to search the front yard, and Daniel Trautmans house site, which was also on his property. The name Daniel Trautman piqued my interest. Daniel Trautman was a volunteer infantryman in Co. A, 50th PA Vol. and served for nearly the entirety of the war, and fought in many battles from South Mountain and Sharpsburg, to Vicksburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Petersburg, Cold Harbor and many others. After the war, he fathered 17 children, 15 of which lived to adulthood. He became a well to do farmer in the Lykens valley, but was unfortunately killed by hoodlums in a botched robbery attempt in his own front yard in 1880.

The owner of the house took us to all the houses he knew of in the area that the Trautmans occupied. Daniels, Johann Peters, Martin, and even the Troutman Schoolhouse. He was just happy to see that we were happy, and his only conditions were to let him see what we had found. NO PROBLEM!

My dad and I voted to pay a visit to Daniels house site first, since I had done a lot of digging into Daniels life. When we got to the place, it was evident something was there a long time ago, but it was unfortunately an overgrown site.


After only a few minutes of detecting, I found a small 1830s-1860s flat button marked "Imperial Standard". We knew we were in the right place. In some sections, the place was very overgrown with grass, bushes, saplings, and in other places it was relatively open. This stone wall next to a very old tree was in a more open spot. There were several stone walls like this around, each one being at least 3.5 to 4 ft. high, at least 50 ft. long, and up to 3 ft. thick. In all my years of exploring I've never seen walls like that.

20210807_100237.jpg


20210807_115234.jpg

20210807_104729.jpg



After an hour or so of detecting, we were finding household items; square nails, a spoon, an 1860s lock, another flat button, and odds and ends. Then I swept my coil over a loud iron signal that made me jump. Whatever it was, it was lying right underneath the leaves. When I kicked the leaves away, I was stunned to see a butt plate to a musket!



DSC_0334.jpg



My dad was very surprised, as was I. We had stumbled into a dumping area. A worm syrup or some other kind of med was lying on top of the ground next to a broken wine bottle, a Dr. Jaynes Vermafuge bottle (broken) a clay marble, and other pieces. We ping ponged all over looking for stuff that was laying right on top of the ground. I picked my metal detector back up and went over where I found the butt plate and got another banging signal. This time I reached down and pulled out a whole barrel!



DSC_0332.jpg




This time my dad and I were both screaming, laughing, yelling, jumping - we jumped right into a hornets nest. We ran like hell, making sure to grab everything we could. We went back the next day armed with bee killer and vanquished the little backstabbers and immediately found the trigger assembly. A Springfield! We could not find the lockplate unfortunately, but as luck would have it, I'll be moving to PA later this year, so maybe I'l find it this winter. It was in the dump, so there are a lot of signals to sort though.


DSC_0335.jpg


Not shown are some farm tools, two 1860s locks, and a marble. The Indian Head Pennies are dated 1881, 1884, and 188*.




The 50th Pa Vol. were outfitted with Springfield muskets in 1863, and that is what this appears to be. It is in very good condition for the amount of time it's been buried, and is solid. The nipple, the site the trigger, is all intact. It is very, very special to me to find this musket. I've been reading about Daniel for a few years now and to own things that he and his family used, along with the musket he carried during the war, gives me goosebumps.



The man who gave us permission was ecstatic about the find, and even gave us a large board from our 5th great grandfathers attic to mount it on. It is truly a special find that will hang proudly on the wall for as long as I live.


DSC_0302.jpg


On a Side note, we also metal detected my 8th great grandfathers house, and found 7 small roundballs, a rosette and a .44 Colt. He was a soldier in the revolutionary war, but I don't know how that Colt got there.

DSC_0333.jpg
 

Kurt G

Sergeant Major
Joined
May 23, 2018
This past week I had the amazing opportunity to travel to wear my ancestors were born, raised, lived and died, the Lykens Valley in Pennsylvania. Everyone from my 8th Great grandfather, who came over on a boat from Germany in the 1750s, until even today, Trautmans and Troutmans (A Trautman married a Trautman way back when, I'm related to both) made their lives in Klingerstown, Pillow, Spain, Hebe and throughout the valley. A few of the older houses are still standing, like my 8th great grandfathers stone house built in the 1760s, (it's in shambles) and my 5th great grandfathers house built in 1834 (fantastic condition). These were the houses me and my dad went to go and photograph for posterity.

Originally we went to go see Peter Trautmans house, built in 1834 out of stone. The house is now owned by an amish family who at the time are adding an addition onto the old stone house and renovating the interior. The man who owned it was very kind and generous, and was eager to learn more about who lived there when it was built. I told him everything I knew about the occupants from 1834, until 1915, and he was intrigued. When we mentioned that we metal detect, he offered us permission to search the front yard, and Daniel Trautmans house site, which was also on his property. The name Daniel Trautman piqued my interest. Daniel Trautman was a volunteer infantryman in Co. A, 50th PA Vol. and served for nearly the entirety of the war, and fought in many battles from South Mountain and Sharpsburg, to Vicksburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Petersburg, Cold Harbor and many others. After the war, he fathered 17 children, 15 of which lived to adulthood. He became a well to do farmer in the Lykens valley, but was unfortunately killed by hoodlums in a botched robbery attempt in his own front yard in 1880.

The owner of the house took us to all the houses he knew of in the area that the Trautmans occupied. Daniels, Johann Peters, Martin, and even the Troutman Schoolhouse. He was just happy to see that we were happy, and his only conditions were to let him see what we had found. NO PROBLEM!

My dad and I voted to pay a visit to Daniels house site first, since I had done a lot of digging into Daniels life. When we got to the place, it was evident something was there a long time ago, but it was unfortunately an overgrown site.


After only a few minutes of detecting, I found a small 1830s-1860s flat button marked "Imperial Standard". We knew we were in the right place. In some sections, the place was very overgrown with grass, bushes, saplings, and in other places it was relatively open. This stone wall next to a very old tree was in a more open spot. There were several stone walls like this around, each one being at least 3.5 to 4 ft. high, at least 50 ft. long, and up to 3 ft. thick. In all my years of exploring I've never seen walls like that.

View attachment 410671

View attachment 410673
View attachment 410674


After an hour or so of detecting, we were finding household items; square nails, a spoon, an 1860s lock, another flat button, and odds and ends. Then I swept my coil over a loud iron signal that made me jump. Whatever it was, it was lying right underneath the leaves. When I kicked the leaves away, I was stunned to see a butt plate to a musket!



View attachment 410658


My dad was very surprised, as was I. We had stumbled into a dumping area. A worm syrup or some other kind of med was lying on top of the ground next to a broken wine bottle, a Dr. Jaynes Vermafuge bottle (broken) a clay marble, and other pieces. We ping ponged all over looking for stuff that was laying right on top of the ground. I picked my metal detector back up and went over where I found the butt plate and got another banging signal. This time I reached down and pulled out a whole barrel!



View attachment 410656



This time my dad and I were both screaming, laughing, yelling, jumping - we jumped right into a hornets nest. We ran like hell, making sure to grab everything we could. We went back the next day armed with bee killer and vanquished the little backstabbers and immediately found the trigger assembly. A Springfield! We could not find the lockplate unfortunately, but as luck would have it, I'll be moving to PA later this year, so maybe I'l find it this winter. It was in the dump, so there are a lot of signals to sort though.


View attachment 410672

Not shown are some farm tools, two 1860s locks, and a marble. The Indian Head Pennies are dated 1881, 1884, and 188*.




The 50th Pa Vol. were outfitted with Springfield muskets in 1863, and that is what this appears to be. It is in very good condition for the amount of time it's been buried, and is solid. The nipple, the site the trigger, is all intact. It is very, very special to me to find this musket. I've been reading about Daniel for a few years now and to own things that he and his family used, along with the musket he carried during the war, gives me goosebumps.



The man who gave us permission was ecstatic about the find, and even gave us a large board from our 5th great grandfathers attic to mount it on. It is truly a special find that will hang proudly on the wall for as long as I live.


View attachment 410675

On a Side note, we also metal detected my 8th great grandfathers house, and found 7 small roundballs, a rosette and a .44 Colt. He was a soldier in the revolutionary war, but I don't know how that Colt got there.

View attachment 410657
Thanks for sharing this great story and the images .
 

19thOhio

Corporal
Joined
Oct 24, 2019
What a neat story! Happy for you. I have seen stone "walls" like the one pictured on the Appalachian Trail, especially in PA and NJ. I'm guessing they were formed when the settlers clearing the land for farming threw the rocks in piles along the edges of fields. They were a stout people!
 

bdtex

Major General
★★ Sr. Moderator
Silver Patron
Annual Winner
Regtl. Quartermaster Chickamauga 2018 Vicksburg 2019
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
Location
Texas
When we mentioned that we metal detect, he offered us permission to search the front yard, and Daniel Trautmans house site, which was also on his property.
What an amazing bit of "luck" that was. Great finds. You're living right my friend. Keep up the good work and post pics always. :D
 

Ethan S.

First Sergeant
Joined
Aug 19, 2019
Location
Carter County Kentucky
Amazing! What a great find. I'm wondering if the "dump" you found was an old well or outhouse site. Those often became garbage pits after they no longer served their original use.


It was a weird kind of dump, everything dating from the mid 1880s when the house was abandoned, with earlier stuff thrown in. When Daniel died, I think his wife got rid of whatever wasn't useful (i.e an obsolete musket) and moved to Kilngerstown or with family. I'm not sure what happened after 1880.
 
Joined
Jun 7, 2021
Amazing! What a great find. I'm wondering if the "dump" you found was an old well or outhouse site. Those often became garbage pits after they no longer served their original use.
That was the case with my grandparents house, built sometime before 1826. The current owner hosted a group of students from the university a few years back and they did a "dig" at the site of the outhouses, which were near a sink hole (no pun, this is Ky). They turned up an unbelievable amount of everyday items dating back to the time the house was built.
 

lupaglupa

1st Lieutenant
Forum Host
Joined
Apr 18, 2019
Location
Upstate New York
The city of Albany requires any excavations within the historic area to have archeologists do a survey before the construction workers go in. They always hope to fond a dump where an outhouse was! While most of the material was trash from the time, it provides valuable clues. It's amazing what a story a broken piece of pottery can tell.
 

Tom Hughes

First Sergeant
Joined
May 27, 2019
Location
Mississippi
This past week I had the amazing opportunity to travel to wear my ancestors were born, raised, lived and died, the Lykens Valley in Pennsylvania. Everyone from my 8th Great grandfather, who came over on a boat from Germany in the 1750s, until even today, Trautmans and Troutmans (A Trautman married a Trautman way back when, I'm related to both) made their lives in Klingerstown, Pillow, Spain, Hebe and throughout the valley. A few of the older houses are still standing, like my 8th great grandfathers stone house built in the 1760s, (it's in shambles) and my 5th great grandfathers house built in 1834 (fantastic condition). These were the houses me and my dad went to go and photograph for posterity.

Originally we went to go see Peter Trautmans house, built in 1834 out of stone. The house is now owned by an amish family who at the time are adding an addition onto the old stone house and renovating the interior. The man who owned it was very kind and generous, and was eager to learn more about who lived there when it was built. I told him everything I knew about the occupants from 1834, until 1915, and he was intrigued. When we mentioned that we metal detect, he offered us permission to search the front yard, and Daniel Trautmans house site, which was also on his property. The name Daniel Trautman piqued my interest. Daniel Trautman was a volunteer infantryman in Co. A, 50th PA Vol. and served for nearly the entirety of the war, and fought in many battles from South Mountain and Sharpsburg, to Vicksburg, the Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Petersburg, Cold Harbor and many others. After the war, he fathered 17 children, 15 of which lived to adulthood. He became a well to do farmer in the Lykens valley, but was unfortunately killed by hoodlums in a botched robbery attempt in his own front yard in 1880.

The owner of the house took us to all the houses he knew of in the area that the Trautmans occupied. Daniels, Johann Peters, Martin, and even the Troutman Schoolhouse. He was just happy to see that we were happy, and his only conditions were to let him see what we had found. NO PROBLEM!

My dad and I voted to pay a visit to Daniels house site first, since I had done a lot of digging into Daniels life. When we got to the place, it was evident something was there a long time ago, but it was unfortunately an overgrown site.


After only a few minutes of detecting, I found a small 1830s-1860s flat button marked "Imperial Standard". We knew we were in the right place. In some sections, the place was very overgrown with grass, bushes, saplings, and in other places it was relatively open. This stone wall next to a very old tree was in a more open spot. There were several stone walls like this around, each one being at least 3.5 to 4 ft. high, at least 50 ft. long, and up to 3 ft. thick. In all my years of exploring I've never seen walls like that.

View attachment 410671

View attachment 410673
View attachment 410674


After an hour or so of detecting, we were finding household items; square nails, a spoon, an 1860s lock, another flat button, and odds and ends. Then I swept my coil over a loud iron signal that made me jump. Whatever it was, it was lying right underneath the leaves. When I kicked the leaves away, I was stunned to see a butt plate to a musket!



View attachment 410658


My dad was very surprised, as was I. We had stumbled into a dumping area. A worm syrup or some other kind of med was lying on top of the ground next to a broken wine bottle, a Dr. Jaynes Vermafuge bottle (broken) a clay marble, and other pieces. We ping ponged all over looking for stuff that was laying right on top of the ground. I picked my metal detector back up and went over where I found the butt plate and got another banging signal. This time I reached down and pulled out a whole barrel!



View attachment 410656



This time my dad and I were both screaming, laughing, yelling, jumping - we jumped right into a hornets nest. We ran like hell, making sure to grab everything we could. We went back the next day armed with bee killer and vanquished the little backstabbers and immediately found the trigger assembly. A Springfield! We could not find the lockplate unfortunately, but as luck would have it, I'll be moving to PA later this year, so maybe I'l find it this winter. It was in the dump, so there are a lot of signals to sort though.


View attachment 410672

Not shown are some farm tools, two 1860s locks, and a marble. The Indian Head Pennies are dated 1881, 1884, and 188*.




The 50th Pa Vol. were outfitted with Springfield muskets in 1863, and that is what this appears to be. It is in very good condition for the amount of time it's been buried, and is solid. The nipple, the site the trigger, is all intact. It is very, very special to me to find this musket. I've been reading about Daniel for a few years now and to own things that he and his family used, along with the musket he carried during the war, gives me goosebumps.



The man who gave us permission was ecstatic about the find, and even gave us a large board from our 5th great grandfathers attic to mount it on. It is truly a special find that will hang proudly on the wall for as long as I live.


View attachment 410675

On a Side note, we also metal detected my 8th great grandfathers house, and found 7 small roundballs, a rosette and a .44 Colt. He was a soldier in the revolutionary war, but I don't know how that Colt got there.

View attachment 410657
Congrats.....Great find with that musket!!!!!
 

RicM

Cadet
Joined
Apr 17, 2021
Words can’t explain the excitement and thrill of your findings. Awesome story !! Congratulations on your discovery and doing it with your father is memorable!
 

Mrs. V

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
May 5, 2017
What a wonderful experience. Nice to have your Dad involved, and super cool that the Amish owner gave you free range to look. Make sure you make note of the exact long/lat of where you found your relics.
 

Story

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Aug 5, 2011
Location
SE PA
It was a weird kind of dump, everything dating from the mid 1880s when the house was abandoned, with earlier stuff thrown in. When Daniel died, I think his wife got rid of whatever wasn't useful (i.e an obsolete musket) and moved to Kilngerstown or with family. I'm not sure what happened after 1880.

Snowball this into a print article - either magazine or newspaper - after you move to PA and find whatever you're going to find next.
 
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