Phoenix is Rising

Bharpring

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I recently dug this piece while out detecting with a few friends. When I initially dug it I didn't know what I had? It looked liked some kind of large brass eagle, since it was very dirty and covered with crust. I could see some detail of the wings, so I thought it could be something cool. My buddies were not close by, so I put it in my pouch and continued hunting. As the time went by I decided to start heading back to my car and show my buddies the brass piece. One of the wings was broken when I dug it, so it is actually 2 pieces. As I pulled it out to show my buddies more dirt and crust had fallen off and you could see a lot more detail. In a matter of a few seconds, my buddy Matt starts sighing and says, "do you know what you just found? This is the best thing to come out of this site so far." I looked at it again and could see that it was not an eagle. Matt says, "you have Phoenix Rifleman's hat pin!" So we start comparing a picture of the known example of any relic related to the Phoenix Rifleman here in Savannah. It just so happens that our other friend Mike many years ago dug the only know example of a relic related to the Phoenix Riflemen and it was hat emblem. He posted the full history and story of his find and the Phoenix Riflemen in October of 2020 on Facebook, but here is a part of his post description:

This story is one of those stories that it took many, many hours of research to discover and prove what it was. Several years ago we were digging on a undeveloped lot in downtown Savannah when we found a brass military hat emblem. The emblem was a Phoenix rising from the flames with a large silver plated Roman "R" attached to its front. I immediately thought of the Phoenix Riflemen militia unit that was organized in 1830. The unit was originally formed in 1812 to beef up the coastal defenses in Savannah during the War of 1812. The unit became one of the premier militia units in Savannah and is still active today in the Georgia National Guard. They were stationed at Fort Thunderbolt during the Civil War. They repelled two attempts by Federal forces to invade Savannah in 1862. There was a problem identifying it because no one alive today had ever seen anything belonging to this old militia unit other than a few personalized weapons. It was important to discover who this hat emblem belonged to, so I started discovering the history of this almost forgotten militia unit. I spent almost all of my spare time at the public library reading through the old militia journals and histories and the many thousands of early Savannah newspaper articles from the 1830's and 1840's. I spent nearly a month of research before I finally found a newspaper article in the "Daily Georgian " dated May 1, 1845 which gave an overview of the St. Tammany's Day celebration in Savannah. It described the holiday parade. The Phoenix Rifleman had a military band that led all of the parades in Savannah. The article explained that the Phoenix Riflemen were wearing their new uniforms for the first time and described them. The article stated "The Phoenix Riflemen, under Capt. W.H.C. Mills, also paraded with their new uniforms and we were gratified to see them looking so distinguished in their green frock coats, grey trousers, and leather hats. The coats were all trimmed in gold braid and were adorned with polished brass epaulettes and buttons The hats bore the crest of a Phoenix rising from the ashes".

So here is my find.
2021-10-26 15.47.34.jpg


The Back:
2021-10-26 15.40.42.jpg


The size:
2021-10-26 15.48.39.jpg


Here is Mike's Hat Emblem that measures about 6" x 5".

2020-04-26 09.50.33.jpg


Here is a newspaper article referencing the Phoenix Riflemen and the Phoenix as their coat of arms.

2021-10-21 22.32.45.jpg


The resemblance between the 2 pieces is unmistakable. The phoenix is above a flame rising from the ashes and the head is facing left. What do you all think?
 
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Bharpring

Bharpring

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Your pin has crossed canons. Not what I'd expect from an outfit of rifleman. Was there a Phoenix artillery down there as well?
We think that the canons are actually logs burning. We also initially thought they were canons.
 

Digger RJ

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I recently dug this piece while out detecting with a few friends. When I initially dug it I didn't know what I had? It looked liked some kind of large brass eagle, since it was very dirty and covered with crust. I could see some detail of the wings, so I thought it could be something cool. My buddies were not close by, so I put it in my pouch and continued hunting. As the time went by I decided to start heading back to my car and show my buddies the brass piece. One of the wings was broken when I dug it, so it is actually 2 pieces. As I pulled it out to show my buddies more dirt and crust had fallen off and you could see a lot more detail. In a matter of a few seconds, my buddy Matt starts sighing and says, "do you know what you just found? This is the best thing to come out of this site so far." I looked at it again and could see that it was not an eagle. Matt says, "you have Phoenix Rifleman's hat pin!" So we start comparing a picture of the known example of any relic related to the Phoenix Rifleman here in Savannah. It just so happens that our other friend Mike many years ago dug the only know example of a relic related to the Phoenix Riflemen and it was hat emblem. He posted the full history and story of his find and the Phoenix Riflemen in October of 2020 on Facebook, but here is a part of his post description:



So here is my find.
View attachment 1987836

The Back:
View attachment 1987838

The size:
View attachment 1987840

Here is Mike's Hat Emblem that measures about 6" x 5".

View attachment 1987842

Here is a newspaper article referencing the Phoenix Riflemen and the Phoenix as their coat of arms.

View attachment 1987846

The resemblance between the 2 pieces is unmistakable. The phoenix is above a flame rising from the ashes and the head is facing left. What do you all think?
Very Cool!!! Congrats!!!
 

CRUSADER

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Your pin has crossed canons. Not what I'd expect from an outfit of rifleman. Was there a Phoenix artillery down there as well?
Funny you should say that, it was my first observation, then I began to wonder if they were logs because they are not 2 crossed cannons but look like '3' logs.
These 3 logs could present a 'Phoenix on Pyre' which is a very ancient depiction used since at least Roman times.
I do think it needs a little more research to nail down this specific cap badge type though, must be more info out there...
Good find!
 

crashbandicoot

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It,s very pretty and obviously rare,really good clean up job and I especially enjoyed the write up and newspaper article.Thank you!
 

CRUSADER

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Your find looks more Masonic than Phoenix Rifleman. Phoenix Masonry possibly. The oldest continuosly operated Masonic Lodge in the U.S. is located in Savannah.



pxjfglKl.jpg
Another good option, thats why I suggested more research, I'm not sure we have got to the bottom of this one yet.... (ie. fully nailed it's ID, which ever it is)
 
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Bharpring

Bharpring

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A buddy of mine found this listing as cockade pin for 1845-1855 militia or fraternal groups. Its fig. 168 on page 87 or the "American Military Headgear Insignia" by J Duncan Campbell & Michael J O'Donnell. I believe that this is just one more piece of evidence that these were used by the Phoenix Riffleman Militia in Savannah, GA before and during the Civil War. Very cool.

imagejpeg_0.jpg
 

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