Civil War Bullets for Sale
I met Jeff Herke at the Philadelphia airport around 10:00am on
Thursday morning, April 18, 2002. We made our way back to the
parking lot and loaded up the truck and headed south to Virginia.
Along the way we made up for lost time by catching up on the latest
news from both our families. Jeff lives in Atlanta, Georgia
and I live in Pennsylvania so it doesn't give us the opportunity to
just pick up and go metal detecting...it has to be planned.
Our destination was Remington, Virginia. During the
civil war it was known as Rappahannock Station due to the railroad that ran
through the town and it close proximity to the Rappahannock river. It is
also located between Warrenton and Culpeper which both saw lots of civil war
activities. I described the property to Jeff on the way down and we both
decided that since we would be arriving late in the afternoon, we would hunt the
front lawn. This is an area about 100 foot wide and 125 foot in length.
It had been hunted before, but we both wanted to try it with our Spectrum XLT's.
I greeted my aunt and uncle who owns the property and
introduced them to Jeff. After some brief conversation, Jeff and I got
down to business. We decided to hunt the front lawn in the Jewelry and
Beach mode with some custom tweaking. No sooner than Jeff had his coil on
the ground he pops up a brass rifle sling buckle with two tangs on it. We
both got four bullets that afternoon. Jeff's were all Union and mine were
all Rebel. At one point I walked over to where Jeff was busy at work to
see what he was finding and I left the detector on and was just walking with the
coil on the ground when I got good signal. Down about 3 inches was a Union
staff button in decent condition. It always pays to leave the detector on
when walking. At least we were off to a good start.
That night we went over some custom relic programs for the Spectrum's. I
went with the pre-programmed Relic mode with tweaking to the Pre-Amp Gain, AC
and DC Sensitivity, Discrimination and Volume. There appeared to be an
abundance of hot rocks that caused the detector to sound off and display a VDI
of 95. A quick edit to the discrimination feature eliminated this
annoyance altogether. On our first full day we decided to hunt the back of
the property. It was a small hill that led to a flat area with a creek
running through the property. I noticed right away that we were not
finding bullets like I did a few years earlier. My uncle informed us that
quite a few hunters had been on the property in recent years. Some as far
away as California. The next door neighbor also came out and talked with
us and said he had also been hunting the property and that we could hunt his
property also. It was a lot adjacent to my uncle's. What bullets we
did find that day were deep. Most were in the 8 1/2 to 10 inch range.
We managed to pull up a couple dozen bullets this way. The bullets sounded
off loud and clear with the Spectrum at these depths. There was no missing
these bullets. Four of the bullets found that day were the round musket
type. I hadn't found these on the property in years and was surprised that
we found them. The other bullets were "dropped" 3 ringers from the
Union army. One bullet that Jeff found had a twist mark on it from where
it was lodged in a rifle barrel and had to be extracted (by hand) with a special
Day two was pretty much like the first day. We
hunted some property next to my uncle's to see if we could hit on a camp that
hadn't seen a detector. No such luck. In one field I received a
signal that turned up another button...minus the front side with the eagle.
Another deep signal produced a pen knife at seven inches. A good find
despite it being well rusted. A 10 inch signal for Jeff resulted in what
we think is a piece that held some part of the rifle barrel. It is made of
brass and is very heavy. Another piece of property resulted in two stray
bullets and a couple of splatters. Bullet totals this day would not equal
the previous day. We dug a total of 37 bullets for the two days we hunted.
On Sunday we drove back to Pennsylvania to my father's
property. Despite the rain, we hunted along the banks of the canal.
A few wheat pennies started to make an appearance and then Jeff dug a large cent
dated 1845 or 1855, and next to that popped up a silver Roosevelt dime. I
found an Indian head penny and not far from that received a good strong quarter
reading at three inches. What I found surprised me to say the least.
I sunk the gator digger down in the mud and popped up a Hutchinson bottle.
No signal left in the hole, just the bottle. Later, after cleaning the mud
off the bottle I could see the seal which contained enough copper to set the
detector off. It is in excellent condition and marked "College Point
Bottling Co. Trade Mark Registered". There is a College Point
located on Long Island, New York. I did an internet search but could find
no information on this particular bottle. A few more finds of wheat
pennies and a copper sleigh bell ended our last day of detecting.
.58 Caliber Three-Ringers.
The most widely used bullet in the Civil War.
Union staff button.
Top Row: .69 Caliber Musket Balls.
Bottom Row L-R : #1 .44 Caliber Bartholow,
#2 & 3 .50 Caliber Smith Carbine. #4 Splattered bullet.
Penknife, pieces of buttons and a rivet.
Two relic hunters properly equipped for digging
Excavation of .58 three ringer.
Results of a VDI
Rifle sling buckle (top)
and a few unknowns
detected by Jeff.
Some of the bullets detected by Jeff.
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