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Thread: What a day...some unique finds including 1600s to civil war (confederate brass!)

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  1. #1

    What a day...some unique finds including 1600's to civil war (confederate brass!)

    On thursday evening I finally got an in at a site that I have been hoping to get on for quite some time now. Confirmed on Friday and provided literally the keys to the gates and on Saturday Bill D and I ran out to check it out. First though I have a little catch up. The previous weekend, I managed to get out for a short and snowy return visit to the site that let Bill and I down a few weeks ago. I spent 4 or 5 hours walking some new and old fields and while I managed a hand full of buttons and another 1736-1795 Kao Tsung (Ch'ien-Lung Dynasty) Chinese coin it was lack luster. This is another 1700's Chinese coin and joins the family of several that came from an adjacent farm. That and a tudor rose cufflink seemed to be the better of the finds. I am confident a decent find will come from this site, but not the quantity I had hoped.

    On to yesterday, this site was historically rich from the 1600-1700s. However, there also was quite a bit civil war activity which means that I felt it had likely seen diggers before, most likely night vultures. Sadly, it seemed to be the case as while Bill and I found a decent amount, you could easily tell that it had been dug heavily over the years. This was a 300+ acre site, so we had our work cut out to cover as much of it as possible. We started out checking some likely colonial sites and while we saw signs of a dwelling that once existed, the finds were few and far. I managed to dig a nice set of 1700's mourning urn cufflinks and a couple of other buttons from the site. We then decided to take a long walk into the lower fields which did produce a nice early buckle and a surprise pocket civil war bullets. Sadly the other house site that I knew was on or near the property border seemed to be just across the lane on another property (to be continued...).

    After a long walk we headed back to where we started. We decided to head back to the truck for lunch and I picked a high knoll that had some brick and lots of modern and old trash mixed in that we walked through earlier in the morning. Once ascending the hill I dug a neat little target that looked like a coin or token. After getting home it was truly a unique find as it was kind of a both. This is a dated 1847 W & T Avery apothecary weight (2 scrupel) and certainly something that I did not know existed. Literally 5 feet later I hit another nice tone, and I half expected it to be another civil war bullet or perhaps coin. Out popped a big two piece button and to my surprise it was a North Carolina state seal confederate button!

    After lunch we took a long stroll and checked on a few sites before ending back up where we first started during the morning. Surprisingly, the finds picked up as I began to dig buttons, buckles and other odds and ends (including a nice glass inset button). Two civil war artillery friction primers (the brass tubes) also surfaced, both being fired which was unique as the site did not see fighting.

    At the end of the day I decided to walk back to where the NC button came from when I received a nice deep but high and large tone. I did not expect it to be much more than big brass farm equipment when to my surprise out popped the Brass patch stock case cover to a model 1841 musket (Whitney, Harpers Ferry). These were fairly common muskets used by confederate troops and due to its proximity to the NC button and presence of bullets and friction primers, I feel confident it was war used. I also feel confident the rest of the gun is mixed in somewhere as the entire piece is intact and this would have been affixed to the musket stock.

    I did find some proof to show those individuals who call every brass screw a frizzen pan or jaw screw from flint lock muskets. I have long debated that these are actually furniture parts and surely this proof shows that as it is A. still attached to the furniture plate and B. attached by a screwed washer.

    My total finds for the day include 12 buttons, the token/weight, gun part and other odds and ends (bridle chain, large portion to early bell, etc.). While this site too will not provide the quantity of relics I had hoped, it will by all expectations, produce a few really good finds.

    HH

    Dan
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  2. #2
    us
    Feb 2013
    York PA, Edisto Beach SC, Shepherdstown WV
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    Uncovering our colonial and civil war past
    Incredible finds! I must say, those mourning links are my favorite! Very high on my bucket list! Love the nc button too!
    "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." -Thomas Jefferson

  3. #3
    Charter Member
    us
    Fly Navy!

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  4. #4
    Charter Member
    us
    Randy

    Feb 2015
    Fullerton CA
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    What a haul!
    Anything That Comes Out of The Dirt Is Awesome!

    Best find 1941 Patek Philippe 2 register flat pusher Chronograph Bought 1,000 Sold 62,000 !!
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  5. #5
    The button and cufflinks are two pretty good keepers, and fun when you're popping great things from different eras. You guys have it real tough ... either hunting early Colonial to Rev war, or Rev War to Civil war.. or I bet on the odd occasion early Colonial right to Civil War. Damn it's hard to beat VA!
    nsdq and CoilyGirl like this.

  6. #6
    us
    Oct 2014
    florida
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    Judging from the backside of the patch box cover hinge portion, I would bet you are right about the musket being somewhere close by. I noticed that the surface is less affected by the ground conditions than the rest of the piece. Probably was on the musket long after it was laid to rest there. I would hit the same area hard....it's gotta be there.

  7. #7
    us
    Dec 2006
    Colonial Virginia
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    That brass stock piece is really cool and would have never figured out what it was. You are a walking encyclopedia! Also, thanks for putting the jaw screw/furniture hardware debate to rest, I can now move them out of my musket parts box

    Nice frizzen Frezza !!

  8. #8
    Although the site didn't contain everything we were hoping for, I'd say you had quite a day none-the-less. I know we had to work hard for what we found, but it was well worth the effort, especially in your case. I'll have to say those cufflinks are pretty cool and are my favorite, and that apothecary weight is a close second. Nice summary post, and thanks for letting me tag along.
    MY BOOK HAS SOLD OUT OF ALL 1200+ COPIES IN LESS THAN 4 MONTHS. NO 2ND PRINTING IS ANTICIPATED AT THIS TIME. THANKS TO ALL WHO MADE THIS PROJECT A SUCCESS.


  9. #9
    Charter Member
    us
    Tommy

    Dec 2015
    Ann Arbor
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    Great suff I would keep looking for the gun that plate went with Great history!!!!!!

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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by joeyfresh View Post
    That brass stock piece is really cool and would have never figured out what it was. You are a walking encyclopedia! Also, thanks for putting the jaw screw/furniture hardware debate to rest, I can now move them out of my musket parts box

    Nice frizzen Frezza !!
    Ha ha, thanks man...for reading through the entire post. Honestly, so many swear they are those screws...very few are.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Patch View Post
    The button and cufflinks are two pretty good keepers, and fun when you're popping great things from different eras. You guys have it real tough ... either hunting early Colonial to Rev war, or Rev War to Civil war.. or I bet on the odd occasion early Colonial right to Civil War. Damn it's hard to beat VA!
    Thanks man...we are lucky to live in a good area...but that also brings with it more competition from other diggers.

  12. #12
    us
    art

    Dec 2015
    Maryland's eastern shore
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    Congrats on some great finds
    Growing old is not for sissies I thought it would take longer to get old.

  13. #13

    Dec 2003
    Western Schuylkill County
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    Awesome Finds Dan

    Nice Display Pictures !

    & Cuff Links
    Last edited by jeff of pa; Feb 28, 2016 at 06:55 PM.

  14. #14
    us
    Apr 2013
    East Coast - USA
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    Great hunt and post Dan Those cufflinks are awesome man. I especially like your COMPLETE patch box cover plate. I dug the engraved Colonial on this fall and have been searching for the rest of it since. Really nice that you got the hinge and all. Solid hunt all around man.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by OutdoorAdv View Post
    Great hunt and post Dan Those cufflinks are awesome man. I especially like your COMPLETE patch box cover plate. I dug the engraved Colonial on this fall and have been searching for the rest of it since. Really nice that you got the hinge and all. Solid hunt all around man.
    Thanks man...this is the second complete one i've found and very cool indeed. Obviously not as ornate as the one you found, but a big hunk of brass none the less.

    Dan
    OutdoorAdv likes this.

 

 
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