Sunday, March 23, 2014

Civil War Button

I had a last-minute job this morning, so I didn't make any plans to go detecting.  On my way home, I passed by a house that my friend owns and rents out.  Luckily, he was outside. We spent just a few minutes talking before I got the okay to come back. So I ran home, got my gear, and headed right back out.

The house was built in 1901 and I knew the yard had been previously detected pretty hard.  I didn't want to get my hopes up, I just wanted to get out and do some detecting.

They must've done a good job because there were very few signals in the yard.  I found a couple of wheat pennies here and there, but really, I wasn't getting much of anything.

So I stepped back and took a look at the property.  I noticed that what used to be a big ivy patch was now down to the ground.  I thought maybe they didn't get in there...

By the signs of it, I was right.

The first signal in the ivy patch turned up a thin metal heart-shaped something.  Carissa thinks it's a page marker for a book, but I don't know for sure what it is.

 Any guesses?

A few steps away, I got a solid signal...

I couldn't believe what I turned over!  I saw the back mark to a button and I could tell it was an old one.  I turned it over and saw the very first Civil War infantry button that I've ever found in my hometown.

Ever since the Virginia dig, I've had a new appreciation for war relics.  For some reason, they're more meaningful to me now.

And sure enough, my VA friends helped me to identify the button.  It is a Federal Infantry button - it has an eagle with an "I" in the center.  WG Mintzer - Philadelphia is the backmark.

This find made my day!  But of course, I kept on digging...

And a few swings later I got a really good silver dime signal...

 and turned up a 1957 Rosie.

A few pieces of trash later, I got another solid tone...

and found an old copper cufflink.

It's really nice - it looks like it was gold plated at one time.

The ivy patch wasn't producing many more signals, so I switched modes on my machine (the MXT All-Pro) and searched the yard one more time.

I got a solid quarter signal.  It must have been a recent drop, because it was only an inch deep.  

But when I re-checked the hole, I got a jumpy midtone at 6-7 inches...

I re-opened the plug and I found a really nice old copper thimble.

All-in-all, it was a great hunt.  I still can't believe I found a Civil War button!

Here it is cleaned up:

It goes to show you (and I mean no disrespect to the previous detectorists) no site is ever really hunted out.

Total finds

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