Discussion in 'Civil War Uniforms & Relics' started by FiremarshalBill, Aug 18, 2016.
Believe it or not, it was 1971 on Cemetery Ridge, Gettysburg, PA. My uncle was an electrical engineer at General Dynamics and put together a metal detector for me, of course we were ignorant of Park regulations. We were in the open just off the road, very near the PA monument and I can tell you the detector didn't move an inch in silence. We found within an inch of the surface, bullets, horse bits, bayonet parts, shrapnel, and flattened cartridge box tins. All of a sudden a rather portly and red faced Ranger came running from the maintenance building and discussed how we could lose the car, the detector, spend the night in jail and a $10K fine. He understood that we were clueless and asked about what we found, which we turned over. He then directed us to some local diggers, who shared with us areas where we might hunt legally.
The amount of metal in the ground on Cemetery Ridge is absolutely incredible, of course as one would expect, but I can confirm..........
Better to find it now than let it go to dust. imho.
Found shell fragment in fields of day two of Gettysburg (92). Found pottery in the foot print of the bullock house at chancelloresville (2002).
I too live very far from all the battlefields but when I am on or near them I do keep my eyes open. I have never found anything definitive for the most part. Earlier this spring however I did find the pictured piece of lead in a creek area near a Civil War battlefield. Although it is lead it is split and mangled which makes me think it is more of a fishing weight than anything but who knows.
How big is it?
This is largely my story too - too far from the Seat of War. Relic hunting has always appealed to me and I have amassed a small collection of bullets and balls but nothing I ever found myself, unless of course you count the ca. 1880's sarsaparilla bottle I kicked up at Devil's Den. (I don't.) The closest thing I have is the minie I mentioned last week that I was given by the JP who married us atop Kennesaw Mountain that he found in the Union trench line that ran across his back yard near what had been the battlefield of Ezra Church.
She stood no chance! As A.P. Hill's troops poured over the yankee crest one was heard to say "good grief nelly why didn't you marry him?!"
Here are some pictures of the item next an original Civil War bullet that I purchased from a relic dealer for scale.
Oh ok. It looked rusted body armor. I was way off. Interested to know...lol i was way off.
This is reminding me of something I still have somewhere - a 1960's list from a relic hunter around Richmond whose name I don't recall. How about what was certainly the tongue of a CS tongue-and-wreath buckle for... $150? Being a high school kid, I opted instead for a US general service button, which I remember was... 35 cents. (Probably with another 10 cents postage or so - I still have it too.) Aahh, the good old days!
Edit: Of course this was when dropped or fired bullets could be bought at battlefield souvenir shops for .25 - I have a couple of those too!
I dont know the protocal of wandering a creek bed.
@Cumpston1862 That is most definitely a fishing weight
I found this minnie ball in 1975 while walking in the cornfield on the D. R. Miller farm at Sharpsburg, Md.
I found my first c.w. relic, a minie ball in July 1972 in a cornfield about three miles from the Antietam battlefield. I found it with an $89 Metrotech detector--a fine machine in its day. Found two more minies that same day. Also eyeballed one that was entirely sitting out of the ground. I was thrilled to find those four balls in about 3 hours hunting.
The first detector I had was a Compass Magnum it was cheap I think about 75.00 then but it was great for finding lead.
This dropped (rough cast) Confederate Enfield style bullet in the Champion Hill Battle area, was the first (and only) time I ever got to dig for relics.
I found pieces of artillery shells while walking the hills outside of Port Hudson, La.
At the time I didn't know I couldn't keep them. If I ever get back there I'll put 'em back
Surface finds are another story...
Detecting-wise, my first ACW finds were percussion caps.
Later that day was my first 'dug' Enfield ball, and an 1858 Seated Liberty Quarter.
I found a1856 enfield sword bayonet in our old farm house it belonged to my great great uncle Will who came back from the a c w know iam trying to track its travels
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