Found the Contents of a Union Cavalryman's Cartridge Box!

FoxHound0985

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Found the Contents of a Union Cavalryman's Cartridge Box Full of RARE Bullets!!

So this is one of the coolest things I've ever found! My hunting buddy Craig and I went out to one of our favorite sites called Minie Ball Hill to look for some Civil War relics. I got a scratchy signal at the base of a tree that ended up being a V Nickel (we find a lot of these here), went over the hole and got an iron signal that was a nail. Went back over the hole again and got another DEEP signal. I dug down about a foot and got a .54 caliber Minie Ball! Went back over the whole and got ANOTHER signal... ANOTHER .54 Minie! About a foot over I get another very deep signal. I dig down a foot again and still didn't have it out of the hole. Two inches deeper, I and I see some white lead in the bottom of the hole. I pull it out and it's the remnants of a Civil War Gallagher Carbine cartridge! The rounded base of the shell was a dead giveaway to it's ID. Something weird though... There were TWO Gallagher bases in my hand and only one bullet. There were more in the hole! I keep digging and pull out another 8 Gallagher cartridges! Fill in the hole and get yet ANOTHER signal less than a foot away... dig another hole and find MORE Gallagher cartridges! There were also a few more .54 Minie Balls mixed in with them! It was dark at this point, so I called it quits and went back out the next day. I was getting a few more signals, but nothing that was sounding like more bullets. Just out of curiosity, I dug a random hole next to where I found the last bullets and used my pinpointer. At about 14" deep, it started going off. MORE Gallaghers and .54 Minies!! I followed the trail of bullets for a few hours and ended up pulling out another 16 bullets total! I couldn't believe it! Several hours of digging, and I had a grand total of 20 Gallagher cartridges and 12 .54 Minies!!! Unfortunately, the Gallagher cartridges were in horrible condition because of the black powder corroding them for 155 years. The Minies were in decent shape though. I'm wondering why those two types of bullets would be in the same hole. I know the Gallagher was a cavalry weapon and the .54s were fired out of a rifle. We were convinced that it was a Union Cavalry camp from right at the end of the war in 1865. Anyway, this was one of my best ever Civil War finds and was definitely a very unexpected way to start 2020! Craig got a .54 Minie and I gave him a Gallagher, and our other hunting buddy got a Gallagher. Sorry for the long post, but I'm just super excited about these! It's taken me a week of careful cleaning to keep these things from falling apart more. Any ideas on how to preserve these cartridges?

Thanks for looking and HH!

PF
 

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FoxHound0985

FoxHound0985

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More pics
 

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FoxHound0985

FoxHound0985

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Last Pics
 

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FoxHound0985

FoxHound0985

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Here are some pictures of a non-dug cartridge and the weapon that fired it...
 

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NZ49er

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Nice bullet hole! Can't help you much with the preservation. I used clear nail polish on some rough Spencer cartridges as a kid, dunno if that's the best idea though. Might be a box plate lying somewhere deep nearby...
 

lenmac65

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Great story and some awesome bullets. I never find bullets like that around here. I found one in VA last year and was excited; I can only imagine how pumped you must have been with that many finds. Congrats!
 

Digger RJ

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Very Nice Hunt!!! Cool finding the casings!!! Congrats!!!
 

djackson7348

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Spectacular find. Man, if only those bullets could talk to tell the story of how they wound up there.
 

civilman1

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That's gonna make a nice display there PinFire :icon_thumright: I can't remember the last time I found a .54 cal. minie.Congrats!!
 

HIGHSTRUNG

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Very nice! Congrats!
 

Calabash Digger

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BLK HOLE

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Congrats on an awesome find! I haven't seen a lot of Gallaghers dug:icon_thumleft:
 

JBnNC

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Good job! You were rewarded for digging that random hole.....
 

smallfoot

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I bet you're still dancing...congrats!
 
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FoxHound0985

FoxHound0985

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Thanks guys! We were about to give up on this place. Now I'm wondering how many more relics are still there, but are too deep for our machines to detect. This site was a very big camp that was used multiple times around the end of the war.
 
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Fantastic relic recovery, restoration and photo display! :notworthy:
 
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FoxHound0985

FoxHound0985

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I went back out there today and got ANOTHER Gallagher bullet! This one was found in a different spot maybe 15 feet away from the rest of them.
 

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Joe-Dirt

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