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  1. #1

    Oct 2004
    1 times

    Owl Creek Buried Union payroll

    In Dec. 1862 Gen. Nathan Forrest crossed over the Tenn. River on his way to Jackson, Tn. to disrupt the Union
    supply route by destroying RR tracks in that city. On his way he encountered the Union forces at Parkers Crossroads, after a brief battle in which history has decided victory went to the Confederates, Forrest went south through Lexington on his way to Jackson and was engaged in a brief skirmish there, once again heading west to jackson, after destroying the tracks, taking prisoners etc. He headed back through Lexington heading for the Tenn. River once more. Hearing that Forrest was returning to Lexington the Union Commander did not
    think he could win a battle with Forrest decided to retreat, however the Union forces had in their over a
    million dollars in gold with them at the time. Realizing he could not out run Forrest while carrying two wagons
    loaded with gold he decided to bury it and come back after Forrest had left the area. This was around Dec. 31st 1862. The gold was buried somewhere along Owl Creek in Lexington, Tn. ( now rt. 412E, east of Lexington).
    That unit from the Union Forces never made it back to reclaim the gold. Several Union soldiers returned after the war to try and find the buried payroll with no luck, several expeditions have been made to this site over the years and so far nothing has been found. Side note: prior to the battle at Parkers Crossroads, the Union Commander had all the gold, money etc. buried at that time totaling several hundred dollars that also has for one reason or another never been recovered either. HH Bob.B

  2. #2

    Re: Owl Creek Buried Union payroll

    I was under the impression that it was not gold, but the treasure instead was plunder (silverware, coins, jewelry) that the Union army had confiscated from the Confederate citizens. Anyway, are you actively searching for this treasure? I am at a college rather nearby and have been thinking about starting an expedition myself. I have heard that the area has been thoroughly searched over the past 100 years and nothing has been found. Seems it probably could be just a myth.

  3. #3

    Oct 2004
    1 times

    Re: Owl Creek Buried Union payroll

    From what I understand its not a myth the towns people talk of two expeditions in particular, the first had I think two surviving Union soldiers with them. The second expedition was larger, their tents took up a large area just outside of town and was the talk of the town at the time, however they did not associate with the towns people and the two survivors had themselves died prior to the second hunt. It was a payroll from what I'm told,
    two wagon loads of gold, it could have been plunder however. Anyway the treasure was never found. Owl Creek now crosses a golf country club. I don't know of any recent (or other) expeditions for the treasure. But
    there are towns people still alive who do remmember the last and I am not looking for myself as yet. HH Bob.B

  4. #4

    Re: Owl Creek Buried Union payroll

    i'm trying to get a grasp of the logistics of this...a million dollars in gold in two wagons...how many bars and what would they weigh...would it take a 6 horse hitch...on a good solid road? please don't mistake my questions for doubt...i'm trying to understand

  5. #5

    Oct 2004
    1 times

    Re: Owl Creek Buried Union payroll

    The only thing I know is what I'm being told from people who work at the local courthouse and library. I haven't been told the size of the wagons etc. just that the Union Forces had to leave in a hurry and they knew
    that carrying this much weight would slow them down. In the battle prior to this at Parkers Crossroads, the Union commander had all the valuables gathered up (prior to an on coming fight) and it was buried as not to fall in the enemies hands if they were overrun. I do not know if this a common practice during the Civil War or not it could have been because I have heard of this practice prior to these two battles. If you plan on going to Lexington, stop in the library there and check out archives room. HH Bob.B

  6. #6

    Re: Owl Creek Buried Union payroll

    That's pretty impressive that there are still people living that remember the last expedition. It seems to me though that the story is a whole lot more believeable with the plunder theory instead of bars of gold. Also, I would like to know why all the townspeople are not in a constant search for this treasure. Are they just skeptical like many and tired of fruitless searches? If there were documented expeditions, I don't see how you could be so skeptical and why you wouldn't be searching! It would be interesting and obviously helpful if there were any markers or signs ever made to retrace the burial location. You would think that unless they expected to recover the cache soon there would have been. Bob, have heard of any markers or signs involving this cache? I think I might have to go over to the Lexington library here soon.

  7. #7

    Feb 2005
    Fairview, Oklahoma

    Re: Owl Creek Buried Union payroll


    Gold weighs two to four times what lead weighs. I the movies when you see the robbers take an arm load of gold bars and put them in their saddlebags, then throw the saddlebags over their horse's back and ride off. That is bunk. A gold bar is heavy, a man will have to use both hands to pick it up and carry it. That is why the two wagons. Gold isn't easy to hide or transport in large quantise.

    The bars were probably 6"x3"x2" and weighed about 400 Troy ounces or about 27.4 pounds each. The density of gold is about 0.698 lb per cubic inch, so such a bar would have a volume of about 39 cubic inches. The bars could have been larger as there was no standard for the size of the bars. But most gold transfers are in 400 Troy ounce bars. There are 12 Troy ounces to a pound. $174,720.00 per bar at todays price.



  8. #8

    Re: Owl Creek Buried Union payroll

    Hey Y'all, could the location be somewheres else not too far away? My husband has told me to check on this on the net for him, could it be in a different creeK? I am new and very curious about all this.

  9. #9

    Sep 2004
    Where ever my coffee cup lands
    Fisher 1280X
    11 times

    Re: Owl Creek Buried Union payroll

    I would really question civil war payrolls of gold! It's my understanding that civil war soldiers were payed in silver coin and paper bills. Gold was hard to come by. And why would Federal Army want to spend gold coin in the south during war? I've always heard this one was plunder which makes the most since.
    Life is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived.

  10. #10

    Dec 2004
    5 times

    Re: Owl Creek Buried Union payroll

    There is gold on Owl Creek but Jesse James, not the Union army,hid it




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