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Thread: Ultra Rare Confederate Button just found - John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln Associations

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  1. #1
    Charter Member

    Nov 2012
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    Ultra Rare Confederate Button just found - John Wilkes Booth, Lincoln Associations

    It's going to be hard to figure out where to start on this one. Keep reading, this is awesome. I was digging a park yesterday, watching the folks walk their dogs, and the kids playing on the swing sets and after about the 50th dig, with about 25 coins, including 2 wheaties and a buffalo I got bored. So I decided to go aways' north to a farm I have detected before, that does have some old stuff on it. It has been pounded, mainly by me, but I decided to hit a few harder to get to spots. Which proved wise. I walked 5 feet from the car, and balanced the machine. Walked six steps and got a decent signal, like a dime signal. Out popped a splash of gold. No, not a gold coin. But even dirt encrusted, I could see it was a Civil War type domed button. Dug a little more before I had to leave to go see the accountant, taxes are done, but got 1 more flat button and 2 modern dimes, and was so curious about the button I just had to get out of there and get home and get it cleaned.

    What the cleaning revealed turns out to be ONE OF A KIND ultra rare button, used by Confederates in the Civil War. It is a St. Timothy's Hall button. St. Timothy's Hall was a military school in Catonsville, Maryland started in the 1830's and it burned in 1872, it never reopened as a military school.

    It is best known due to alumni John Wilkes Booth, who did attend for a time 1852-1853. Booth, if you remember your history, assassinated President Abraham Lincoln in April of 1865. Another alumni, Samuel Arnold, was convicted of conspiracy in the murder and went to prison for it.

    Maryland was a very divided state during the Civil War, and this particular school had a strong southern bend. While the headmaster was a strict abolitionist, the school body leaned strongly to the south, and it was reported when each southern state seceded from the union, the student body cheered and fired the cannon in salute to that rebellious state.

    The school gave the Confederate Army General Fitzhugh Lee, another alumni and General Steven Elliott, among many, many other soldiers.

    Professional button collectors consider this a true southern school button. The button itself is intact. Whew! Alphaeus Albert's "Record of American Uniform and Historical Buttons", Bicentennial Edition lists it as SU378 on pages 342 and 343. It lists its backmark as "Scovills & Co. Superfine".

    This button does NOT HAVE THAT BACKMARK.

    It has the "Waterbury Button Co.**" which was used exclusively 1861-1865. This backmark has NEVER BEFORE BEEN REPORTED ON THIS BUTTON.

    So, for now, the button is UNIQUE. This backmark is pictured in McGuinn and Bazelon's "American Military Button Makers and Dealers; & Dates" figure 21, in the appendix. It's the 1861-1865 mark.

    I confirmed the information with one of the largest Confederate Memorabilia dealers in the nation, who I have known for years, and he confirms the designation as not only a Southern used button, but one with a unique backmark.

    The site was along the route some of Jeb Stuart's cavalry used during the Gettysburg Campaign. One of the alumni probably lost it on the raid from Hanover, though York down into Maryland. What a ride for the little guy!

    Digging a Confederate button is no easy task these days, but digging a UNIQUE button is mind blowing. I have not fully cleaned the back yet, and the mark is somewhat weak, until I get it cleaned up a little better.

    I am excited.Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by smokeythecat; Apr 03, 2017 at 07:19 AM.

  2. #2
    us
    Mar 2012
    Georgia
    Whites MXT ALL PRO,
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    Smokey, first a Hewge Congrat's to you on one rare Confetrit' button. That is so cool looking and in good shape too. This could rank high up on a Bucket List find for sure. Nice piece of History goes along with this piece too. If I may share a little Ga. History that is related to this button and the state of Maryland during the war. The 8TH Georgia Infantry Regiment was at the Battle of Gettysburg along with thousands of others. As you stated, Maryland was expected to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy. On July 4TH 1864 as the Army of Northern Virginia was crossing the Potomac River back to Virginia after the battle, the 8TH Georgia regimental band struck up the tune "Maryland, my Maryland. This infuriated the soldiers so that they began pelting the band musicians with rocks. The band quickly changed to the tune to " Listen to the Mocking Bird ". Lol Again, You did Well on the find of one extraordinary' rare button. This will have a special place of honor in your collection no doubt. Continued Success to you.
    Davers, montcalm and ANTIQUARIAN like this.

  3. #3
    Charter Member

    Nov 2012
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    My ancestors were in the 1st Georgia Cavalry and 5th Mississippi Volunteer Infantry. In the old days, diggers would find journals and such and buy them to find the camps. This was nested among new Roosevelt dimes and foil.

  4. #4
    us
    MARK

    Feb 2016
    West Ky
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    Congratulations on a tremendous find! Isn't it amazing how much history such a simple item as a button can tell us. Thanks for the history lesson. Great dig!
    SweepNbeep, terpfan and Truth1253 like this.
    "It makes no difference whether I got anything; it has to do with how the day was spent"

    Fred Bear

  5. #5
    Charter Member
    us
    art

    Dec 2015
    Maryland's eastern shore
    whites MXTPro whites MXSport
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    Congrats on the unusual button
    Growing old is not for sissies I thought it would take longer to get old.

  6. #6
    Charter Member
    us
    Joe

    Nov 2014
    VA
    Minelab CTX 3030 TELEKINETICS 4000 GARRET AT PRO
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    Great find and awesome research. This is banner material in my book for the Rarity and research. Nice job!

    HH, RN

  7. #7
    Charter Member
    us
    Chronic Patriot/Metal Detecting,it`s My Lifestyle !

    Jul 2010
    "Kan-a-we-o-la" Head on a Pole N.Y. Seneca Territory of The Six Nations 1779 Montour Falls N.Y.
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    Smokey
    Outstanding find !
    Great research !
    My Banner vote is in !
    Gary
    I`v been detecting for 48 years owned my own detector shop G.A.P. Metal Detectors here in N.Y.
    See my old adds in Western & Eastern Treasures and Lost Treasure Magazines through the 90s
    I hunt the Sullivan Trail here in N.Y.
    "Success is just Rented, Never Owned and the Rent is due Daily"
    "Its the Golden Rule who ever has the Gold Rules"
    Brute Force and Ignorance

  8. #8
    Man I read your post and liked it. Thought about it a few minutes and then re-read it again. I must say this is a Banner worthy find in my option I appreciate anything you never see posted .Great find Congratulations. Banner vote in
    Truth1253 likes this.
    Gave it ALL away Now I'm starting over

  9. #9
    us
    Feb 2017
    Chattanooga, Tn.
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    Unearthing History, one dig at a time. Congratulations mate. Awesome, awesome find.
    Truth1253 likes this.

  10. #10
    Charter Member
    us
    Detect smarter, not harder.

    Mar 2014
    "Over there"
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    Excellent find and very rich in history. Are you sure the letters just aren't just very faint? Even the grainy picture looks like I can make out a few letters.

    Great button, never saw one on Tnet


    "Take the detecta-drama elsewhere - I'm just here to dig!"


    Running totals:

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    Favourite Finds:
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    If it ain't at least seated, it aint Sh*t

  11. #11
    Charter Member
    us
    Mar 2017
    The North Star State
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    Quote Originally Posted by KENTUCKYWONDER View Post
    Congratulations on a tremendous find! Isn't it amazing how much history such a simple item as a button can tell us. Thanks for the history lesson. Great dig!
    Yes, it it. In fact I was just saying that the other day when my daughter dug a GAR button, which she researched, and it turned into a great history lesson. But this button is off the charts. Amazing find, congratulations to smokeythecat, and thanks for the background information. It's the stories that make what we dig special. Without the stories, and the history, the items are worthless in and of themselves.
    Kurios1 and Truth1253 like this.

  12. #12
    us
    Frank

    Jun 2013
    Jefferson City, Tennessee
    JW Fisher Pulse 8X; Minelab CTX 3030 & Sovereign Elite; White's GMT, Beach Hunter Id, Surf PI, Coinmaster Classic II, 6000 Di S2, an old GM 66-T with 5 coils & GM 65-T with 3 coils.
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    Congrats, congrats, congrats on an awesome and extremely rare button find! I loved the background history on the button and the Military School. Now, you need to get back out there in the hard to metal detect places on the farm and find some more rare relics. You will get my Banner vote for the find.


    Frank
    U.S. Army Veteran (Nov. 27, 1972 to Mar. 30, 1978) and Federal Government Employee (Nov. 19, 1978 to Jul. 30, 2011), now retired with a total Federal Service of 38 years and 15 days. I am a Coin Collector, Searcher & Researcher at heart with main interests in Error & Variety Coins. I also love Gold and Gem Prospecting, Metal Detecting when and where I can, Ginseng and Herb Hunting, Long Range Shooting, Hunting and Fishing as well as research on Spanish Shipwrecks.

  13. #13
    us
    Jun 2009
    Central Wisconsin
    Whites XLT
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    Totally Awesome find! Congrats ! Great pics of it for us to see and thanks for the write up to help me (us) understand it's significance and history
    on such an extremely rare button.

  14. #14
    us
    Dec 2006
    Mechanicsville, Va.
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    wow, just wow! congratulations!

  15. #15
    us
    Old Tom Cat.

    Jan 2013
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    Sounds like yesterday was 'your Day' The Button Hid & Waited for You ,lol.

    Great History Condition = Banner +++.

    Great Finds Come from close to the Car/Truck.
    WTG Davers

    & I was lazy Yesterday & Stayed Home.

    Personally The Button look's GREAT the way it is, 'You Know the Rap about over cleaning'
    But
    It's yr Button. What I'm saying is The Back-Mark is Readable In person --So Good enough IMO.
    "Banner"
    Last edited by Davers; Apr 03, 2017 at 11:26 AM.
    As I am finding , In life we Start at the top,with the Wonder & innocence of a Child, then fall Quickly, then spend the rest of our lives trying to reach that point where we began ,through Pleasure , Fame, & Materials but Only 'Through True faith in Jesus , can we find Prefect Happiness or True Meaning in our Short lives on this Beautiful Earth filled with Both the Light of Pure goodness & The Darkness of Pure Evil. D.

    That Said, I judge No Man.
    Davers

 

 
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