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Several months ago friends and I went to look for some lost Civil War valuables. Since we all had signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement I am unable to say where it was at except that the state is Tennessee.

We were using a new type of metal detector that I put together and had a friend from John Deere software division do some programming for the unit. This system uses 3 separate frequencies for 3 separate coils and builds a 3D image of the metal in the ground. The images show a depth of over 5 feet and we expect to find the item close to that depth. Since we are looking for something rather large this works very well to keep us from digging the smaller items. We use a standard metal detector for finds closer to the surface as well, and yes we have found more than we expected.

We arrived on a rainy day and set up camp for the next 10 days and settled in. The rain ended about midnight and we knew that the ground would be wet. We had early breakfast and proceeded to gain the land owners permission to hunt on their land. That took some negotiation to get everyone’s permission but we had written permission in hand.

We then unloaded the 4 wheelers and equipment and set forth to locate what we were after. After digging up almost 2,100 pounds of trash and a couple of small relics we called it a night.

The next several days proved to be just as bad as our first day on the hunt, finding only small stuff and very few relics, but we still had a pile of trash left to dig.

On the 7th day we had a very good target that looked like we had found what we were after. We were able to dig it up and pull it from a 6 foot hole and we knew we had found something important.

We had uncovered a chest that belonged to a 2nd Lieutenant of the Union Army. Inside were several of his items including a Remington Model 1861 Army Revolver of a 22 caliber. Also there were numerous other items including 8 $1.00 gold pieces. He had some silver tableware, razor, and many other items.

The chest had shown wear from being in the ground and the inside material had all but rotted. Surprising as it was the chest was In good condition as someone had put bees wax on it and it was wrapped in a trap of some type. The heavy iron straps that held the chest together was all intact and just slightly rusted. One of the locks was mostly gone, but the second one was in much better shape.

Most of the chest has been cleaned and redone and looks almost new, and the other items have also been cleaned properly.

Some of what we had found will be placed in a museum near the location of which it was found, while the gun and the coins have been shared between the people who went. Everyone had an equal share in this hunt and 2 of the people were brothers who wanted the pistol.

I was given 4 of the gold pieces and now I have them hanging on my wall.

We are planning another trip back because we know that the treasure we are looking for is there. Since we have the area narrowed down we should find it within a few days. The land owners have given us the permission again and we have plenty of equipment this time to make it go much faster.

Below is a picture of my coins as I am still waiting on pictures of the chest and other items.

Civil War 1863 gold coins.jpg

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Wow, amazing and congrats !!!!!

This reminds me of a Jacques Cousteau documentary.

This is above & beyond anything I could imagine myself doing in this hobby. You have taken it to another level. 

I'm sure we'd all like to see your homemade metal detector some day.

Anxiously looking forward to seeing your next amazing find on your CW site.

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, Happa54 said:

I'm sure we'd all like to see your homemade metal detector some day.

The detector was made with detectors used for parking equipment and fast food drive-thru. They naturally pick up autos about 3-4 feet off the ground. We coupled together 3 separate units and ran them at max sense with a computer program made just for it. They are assembled using only PVC pipe and the wheel axles are made from machine grade nylon. Each unit uses a different frequency and are adjusted for a pulse which causes no interference from each unit. They run off a 12 volt deep cycle battery carried on the 4 wheeler. You will never find just gold unless you are looking for a very large amount in a small area. Each coil is 20 inches by 60 inches with 7 turns of 10 gauge wire inside the 3/4 inch pvc pipe, and then the wheels are added.

I will try to get some pictures of the system and post them the next time I pull it out of the storage shed.

Should we find what we are looking for this next time I am sure that it will be on the news because of what it is.

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What awesome hunt! You guys know what you’re doing, that’s for sure! Congratulations!

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Nice finds.  Thanks for sharing.  Reading your posts reminds me of something.  I have a friend in Ohio who detects.  Pretty old fella too.  He sent me a pic of what he uses to try and find odds wise where the goings on where in fields.  A sled made of PCV pipe.  He puts Deus 11” coil on and puts wireless headphones on his head and drags sled around with ATV listening for iron density.  I can’t seem to find the pic.

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Caches are probably the holy grail of treasure hunting.  Here you and Peg report on finds from different troves within a couple weeks of each other, proving they are still out there.  Most of us are left dreaming, probably for the rest of our days.  But rather than acrimonious envy, I feel good that you have succeeded.  Thanks to both of you for keeping those elusive dreams alive.

 

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I'm not much for relics at all. But love your story. Thanks for sharing and keep us updated...when it's all over..

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2 hours ago, GB_Amateur said:

Caches are probably the holy grail of treasure hunting.

I have known of this lost item for almost 40 years thinking someone else would beat me to it. Over the last couple of years I have learned much on this particular item and we are hoping to end the search for it this year. We believe that it is in an area of less than 1.5 square miles on either side of a creek and we can now search that area with confidence with what we have.

We will have only 4 or 5 people going on this trip with a couple from this forum. Should anyone not be able to go I will ask someone on this forum to go with us if they want.

We have not lost any money on this project and have actually made a little bit from it.

So yes there are treasures out there to look for and to find.

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2 hours ago, Tnsharpshooter said:

 A sled made of PCV pipe.

Almost the same idea, but we decided on wheels for a more even depth on the targets.

We still use a 4 wheeler because nobody wanted to carry a deep cycle battery around all day.

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A Battery cart! A used stroller from Goodwill! Or wagon with fat tires! And maybe an armored truck with security!!

Not that you need suggestions!😁👍

Great finds! Keep it going!

20200111_225250.jpg

20200111_225209.jpg

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