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Thread: Swamp Gold

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  1. #1516
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    #BigCypressSwamp

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    Interesting read here leading up to the Confederates retreating into the Everglades. Historic Peace River Valley, Florida: Battle of Bowlegs Creek: Fort Meade, Florida, April 7, 1864 Green must have had intelligence on the cattle gold. The dates match very well. It would be interesting to piece a day to day dateline together. I just dont have the time.

    On February 22 1864, Fort Meade residents William McCullough, William McClenithan, and State House representative James D Green arrived at Fort Myers. The men informed Union officer Captain Henry A. Crane of the Confederate’s “great loss of provisions” and their desperate need of cattle and supplies at Fort Meade. Henry A. Crane was so satisfied with this intelligence that he appointed William McCullough and James Green as lieutenants for this splendid information and on March 13, 1864, Captain Henry A. Crane dispatched thirty troops under Green to seize the Confederate supplies and gather recruits at Fort Meade. By March 20th, Green’s detachment had increased to about fifty men (mostly Confederate deserters) and marched for Willoughby Tillis’ homestead south of Fort Meade, confiscating, horses, mules, and slaves. Consequently, Green’s detachment moved on to Confederate Thomas Underhill’s home killing him with two gunfire shots. Green’s troops seized corn, meat, contraband (slaves), and firearms before returning to Fort Myers
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    Last edited by Bigcypresshunter; Jun 30, 2013 at 01:53 PM.

  2. #1517
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    #BigCypressSwamp

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    More interesting read from 1864 I discovered and posted it way back. It wont hurt to reread it to get a feel for the chaotic events in March of 1864. The Union Soldiers consisting of a Colored Regiment captured a thousand head of cattle. It mentions a squad of 30 men pursuing the Confederates. Evidently there was plenty of cattle to be sold in March of 1864. Not only did the cattle have to be smuggled out but the gold had to be hidden. You would think there would be plenty of places to hide gold in the swamp and there was. The problem being to remenber where it was buried and living long enough to retrieve it!
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  3. #1518
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigcypresshunter View Post
    Here is the map from the above link of Fort Meade. Note the Whidden family residence. Remember it was a member of the Whidden family that I interviewed. Remember you found an interesting mention of several Whidden soldiers in the Cow Cavalry?...
    "John L Whidden known as Cutthroat John and his brother William Whidden with another man did desert the company at Fort Meade when the company was ordered to the Big Cypress" CSA Capt John T Lesley,Fort Meade (NOTE:It was Lesley,at Gamble Plantation, who aided CSA Sec of State Judah Benjamin in his escape to the Bahamas.)
    "The detachment sent to Fort Meade in my last had a fight with the rebs and drove them from the place Thuesday last,destroying all their stores complete and killing a leading guerilla Lanier and rounding out several theres with horses and without any loss whatever"-Union Capt Henry A Crane,US Fort Meyers,April 13,1864.
    US Capt Crane also posted death warrants for members of the Cow Calvary and the cracker cowmen,including Jacob Summerlin.Crane used the Confederate deserter and former neighbor of the people of Fort Meade,US Lt James D Green as a raider and looter in a "scorched earth" policy.Many of Green's detachment were also CSA deserters,who knew the homesteaders they were attacking,and what valuables they may possess,and they kept the spoils of their raids.
    There is a possibility that these homesteaders may had buried their valuables before Green's destroy and burn raids,and cache's may still be in the ground.
    Thanks for posting the map.

  4. #1519
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    #BigCypressSwamp

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    I became interested in the Confederate gold legend back in the 1960s, I learned to use a computer in 2004 and I created this thread back in 2005 for research purposes, not to encourage anyone to go out digging in the Everglades. I understand this is a treasure site and I might be giving the wrong impression to some readers. I myself may have been a bit naive in the beginning when I started this quest and Floridas Isolated Finds Laws have changed.

    Here is an informative link from FPAN Florida Public Archaeology Network. Florida Public Archaeology Network - Frequently Asked Questions

    If someone happens to find an artifact on State land or wishes to metal detect in Florida, here are some laws on metal detecting. It may be illegal just to have a metal detector in your possession on Federal land. Native Indians have their own laws. I hope this information will save someone from embarrassment or worse.

    Take care. And thanks everyone for all the help and I appreciate all the interest. I love Florida history and I never tire in my quest for knowlege.
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    Last edited by Bigcypresshunter; Jul 02, 2013 at 01:03 AM.

  5. #1520
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    "WP"

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    Thanks for your candor B.C.H..I was never under the impression you would encourage any thing illegal.Even if you had, as with most others who look for anything, code of ethics requires me to know the law(s) regarding where i hunt let alone dig, and to acquire permission where required. As should common sense.However I would sit and daydream out in the swamp a little. Not for long though lest i get pinched by something worse than past history l.o.l..As far as gold,the swamps worth more than anything that could be hauled out of it to me.Mystery of what happened where plenty good enough reason for you to start a thread.
    Last edited by releventchair; Jul 01, 2013 at 11:01 PM.

  6. #1521
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    #BigCypressSwamp

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    The swamp is a beautiful place and we are lucky to have so much of it, in South Florida, preserved, in which I am grateful. Along with preservation we lose some recreational activities. Its really a small price to pay.
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  7. #1522

    Jun 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigcypresshunter View Post
    The swamp is a beautiful place and we are lucky to have so much of it, in South Florida, preserved, in which I am grateful. Along with preservation we lose some recreational activities. Its really a small price to pay.
    AGREE with you BOTH!

  8. #1523
    ECS
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    DO DARK CLOUD MOUNTAINS OVER THE EVERGLADES HAVE A SILVER LINING?

    Lost Confederate gold tales appear in several states,but most are just that,tales.
    On this thread,many versions of the swamp gold story have been discussed and anayzed,and upon inspection of historical facts and events,they all fall short.
    Examples include the Fort Knox to Fort Meade journey through the battleworn occupied South or the transporting of 1/2 ton of gold accross the Everglades to ship to England "near the end of the war".
    The only Confederates during that time were either the "Cow Calvary" and those stationed at Fort Meade.Yes,they sold cattle for Spanish and Cuban gold,but no shipment ever amounted to a half ton of gold.
    Those readers of this thread who have followed the research and read the posted links can discern the origin of this legend from various actual events that occured.
    Yes,it is nice to believe that a vast cache of Confederate gold is waiting to be found in the swamp,but belief is not fact.

  9. #1524

    Jun 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by ECS View Post
    Lost Confederate gold tales appear in several states,but most are just that,tales.
    On this thread,many versions of the swamp gold story have been discussed and anayzed,and upon inspection of historical facts and events,they all fall short.
    Examples include the Fort Knox to Fort Meade journey through the battleworn occupied South or the transporting of 1/2 ton of gold accross the Everglades to ship to England "near the end of the war".
    The only Confederates during that time were either the "Cow Calvary" and those stationed at Fort Meade.Yes,they sold cattle for Spanish and Cuban gold,but no shipment ever amounted to a half ton of gold.
    Those readers of this thread who have followed the research and read the posted links can discern the origin of this legend from various actual events that occured.
    Yes,it is nice to believe that a vast cache of Confederate gold is waiting to be found in the swamp,but belief is not fact.
    PARTS of what you "say" is true; it may well have been that SOME of the CSA Treasury, GOLD, weapons WERE "deposited" in areas of the "Swamp" prior to departure of REBELS to Brazil in South America... as Confederados & families.
    They then established SEVERAL communities in South American locations, and even today, a SPANISH-speaking Sons of Confederate Veterans exists. This SCV group sponsors all kinds of "old South" events; was even a group of Ex-Rebs in conclaves in Mexico City... across the "line", etc. & they LATER, became desperados (must be all the Clint Eastwood movies or something...).

  10. #1525
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    Most departed After the War to South America,in the early days of Reconstruction.
    On such Confederado was CSA Dr G G Mathews,along with other families went to Brazil 15 years after Reconstruction.He later returned to Marion County Florida and formed the community of Santos(now gone except for markers),named for his home in Brazil.

  11. #1526
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    #BigCypressSwamp

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    Quote Originally Posted by ECS View Post
    Lost Confederate gold tales appear in several states,but most are just that,tales.
    On this thread,many versions of the swamp gold story have been discussed and anayzed,and upon inspection of historical facts and events,they all fall short.
    Not all. $12,000 in Spanish gold (cattle payment) possibly smuggled in by Capt Riley, buried by the Confederates (CSA Pvt Lanier)at a hammock or hump near the junction of 2 creeks in March 1864 is very true and could easily be worth $200,000 at todays prices so I wish you would clarify when you say they all fall short.

    I am not searching, I am not digging, I am not encouraging anyone else to dig in the Everglades but I am trying to keep the record straight. Someone reading your above reply might think that this entire research thread came up empty. I agree any mention of Fort Knox is an embellishment and 1/2 ton is most likely an exagerration but every tale does NOT mention Fort Knox or 1/2 ton.. Go back to page one. I seem to remember the original legend being $200,000.


    Those readers of this thread who have followed the research and read the posted links can discern the origin of this legend from various actual events that occured.
    Yes,it is nice to believe that a vast cache of Confederate gold is waiting to be found in the swamp,but belief is not fact.

    It is fact ECS. This thread has indeed proven that at least one cache of Confederate gold was buried somewhere within the Everglades region. (Somewhere south of the Caloosahatchee (River). The resale value of these Spanish and Cuban gold coins on todays collector market could surpass a million dollars.

    The amount or monetary value really doesnt matter because nobody is ever going to find it. There is just not enough information to pin down a location and the possibility exists that it was retreived by a Confederate deserter or accidentally found during latter day construction and never reported.
    Last edited by Bigcypresshunter; Jul 02, 2013 at 07:58 PM.

  12. #1527
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    #BigCypressSwamp

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    Just for the record, I went back to 2005...back to my original post.

    Swamp Gold

    Anyone know anything about the supposedly "well documented" lost payroll in the Florida Everglades? ?Near the end of the Civil War, a Confederate paymaster being pursued by Union troops buried a million-dollar payroll in gold and paper currency. Records reveal he wrote: "Chased by the enemy, we buried our payroll at a point in the Everglades at a junction of two creeks, where the land rises like a camel's back. The money is buried in the west hump of the rise." He was captured, but never found the $200,000 in gold or the paper money.
    Throw out the words "paymaster" and "payroll" and the rest of the tale is true. It doesnt fall short at all. There very easily could have been some paper money involved. Actually how do we know there wasnt a paymaster in the Confederate detachment?


    The thread has been a complete success IMO and I am content. This legend will be told for another hundred years and reference will be made to this thread. . Success is not always judged by the amount of holes dug.
    Last edited by Bigcypresshunter; Jul 02, 2013 at 08:49 PM. Reason: 2005
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  13. #1528
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    #BigCypressSwamp

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    HRU Don Jose de La Mancha? (Real de Tayopa Tropical Tramp) Been a long time.

  14. #1529
    ECS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigcypresshunter View Post
    Not all. $12,000 in Spanish gold (cattle payment) possibly smuggled in by Capt Riley, buried by the Confederates (CSA Pvt Lanier)at a hammock or hump near the junction of 2 creeks in March 1864 is very true and could easily be worth $200,000 at todays prices so I wish you would clarify when you say they all fall short.

    I am not searching, I am not digging, I am not encouraging anyone else to dig in the Everglades but I am trying to keep the record straight. Someone reading your above reply might think that this entire research thread came up empty...




    It is fact ECS. This thread has indeed proven that at least one cache of Confederate gold was buried somewhere within the Everglades region. (Somewhere south of the Caloosahatchee (River). The resale value of these Spanish and Cuban gold coins on todays collector market could surpass a million dollars.

    The amount or monetary value really doesnt matter because nobody is ever going to find it. There is just not enough information to pin down a location and the possibility exists that it was retreived by a Confederate deserter or accidentally found during latter day construction and never reported.
    My above post is confirming the research of the Pvt Lanier incident,as well as the flight of Benjamin and Breckinridge,and the Cow Calvary and Summerlin's acceptance of Spanish and Cuban gold as possible "root sources" of the Everglades swamp gold legend,ie,actual events that through the telling over time,grew into the story that then expanded in the 1940's on to the 1960's in treasure books and magazines.I thought I made that point clear and evident.
    As mentioned in earlier posts,the only "CSA Paymaster" in that area during the time of events,was CSA Capt James McKay of Fort Meade.In his duty as CSA COMMISSARY AGENT FOR SOUTH FLORIDA he was in charge of all payroll,cattle payments,and the purchase of supplies.
    In your post #1529 you have a quote attributed to a "Confederate paymaster",that asserts he was caught.
    From "records" did this quote originate?For the record,McKay was never captured,and I doubt that the Confederacy would have two paymasters in South Florida.That version is very similar to the Steinhatchee River legend of a CSA paymaster and $200,000 of gold,another morph of the story in a different location.

  15. #1530
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bigcypresshunter View Post


    The thread has been a complete success IMO and I am content. This legend will be told for another hundred years and reference will be made to this thread. . Success is not always judged by the amount of holes dug.
    BCH,I agree.This thread contains sound research with links,names,dates,and events that transend the tales and speculation that surround this legend.

 

 

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