Friday, March 13, 2015

Civil War Relic Hunt-What a Treasure

It has been a rainy March day. Some friends I have hunted with for some time stopped by, then another. We had a quorum and a couple pots of coffee. I heard several good hunting stories and it is always good to catch up with friends. One gentleman told a story I find to be a treasure. Some years ago he and his son, who at that time was a teenager, and a hunting partner had planned a weekend hunt at a Civil War camp site that they had discovered through their research. It was not far to the site in the next county and that nice, spring Saturday they left early. After stopping for breakfast they made their way to the destination. He had been wanting to hunt this site for a long time and it would be his sons first relic hunt, and one with much potential. He had spoken with the landowner, an elderly widow, and she granted permission. When they arrived he first thought they were in the wrong place. He said, "Such a beautiful old home place in such disarray." He and his friend had both seen the place years before in its glory and could not believe what they were looking at. The yard had not been mowed nor had the leaves from the fall before been tended. There were limbs from the big oak trees and the place needed attention. The fenced off farm that a local farmer had leased for livestock looked much better than the yard. The rolling hills farm had 8000 of Grant's troops camped there early in the war and the place they were looking at was one of two homes that graced the 150 acres in the 1860's. It was said that the soldiers burned over a mile of picket fence for lack of firewood and remained there over a month. When the lady came to the door and introductions were made his friend asked if she had a lawn mower. She did, and went on to say her daughter would be there later and they were going to work on the yard and apologized for its condition. He said if you don't mind, we would like to help out and get started. As they went to the mower shed he told his son, looks like we are going to earn our hunting rites today. They got gas and oil for the mower and weed-eater and got started picking up. When the daughter arrived she could not believe what was happening. He said they told her to go on and help her mom out that they had the yard. It took the better part of their Saturday but he said that yard looked better than his when they were done. He also told his son that if he wanted he probably had found himself a summer job. The ladies came out with drinks and snacks and while they visited on the porch she showed them pictures of the place and told of the people who lived on both the farms and where things was. Things treasure hunters love to know. As they ended the day up the lady said she could not pay them anything at the time and while he explained that neighbors help other neighbors and she did not owe them anything, the daughter came out with an old shoe box. She said, but I do want you boys to have this. The box was almost full of bullets, musket balls, tokens and buckles. He said they were in shock. She and her daughter smiled and said when daddy would plow the garden and the tobacco patch he would pick up this stuff. They even said he would walk the rows after it rained and he always would wash it off and put it in this old shoe box. She said, daddy would say someday somebody will come along and like to have this stuff, and went on to say, today is the day, we know daddy would want you boys to have it. He said we did not know what to say and at that moment my son said I will be back next week to mow the yard and you don't worry about paying, you already have.

His hunting partner said that was the hardest he had ever worked treasure hunting and his son joked that it was probably more Civil War relics than they both had ever found. When they got home and unloaded he said he told his friend to come in and they would go through the box and they could log and decide what to do or how to split the bounty, but he told him he would rather his son have it. That is your first cache son and you earned it. He said his son continued to mow the yard for the lady and even go out of his way once or twice a week to check on her until she passed away. He went on to say that they all had hunted there several times and made some great finds and that everything in the old shoe box was in displays telling the story, but his son still had the old shoe box with pictures of the lady, her daughter and all us hunting there with some of the things they have found there. Someday somebody will come along and like to see that stuff!

Just goes to show, sometimes treasure finds you.

May your trails be smooth and your treasure sites many.
Best Wishes and Good Hunting    

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