I wanted to share with everyone what I consider one of my BEST discoveries EVER that I recently made! The day I made this amazing discovery I had decided I was going to hit one of my old Mississippi camps and hunt in Deep mode with my XP Deus and listen for every faint tone I could hear. This spot had given up some great Confederate buttons and bullets in the past but the last few times I had been in it I had found very little. I had been hunting around 2 hours and I had found nothing, only a few modern shotgun shells and I was getting a little discouraged. Since I hadn't found that much I was digging every repeatable target I could hear, even if it sounded not that great. The signal that led to this discovery didn't sound that great at all, in fact I was sure it was going to be iron. It was barely a repeatable signal right next to a massive oak tree. The only problem was the roots from the tree were huge and digging around them was taking forever. But again, I hadn't found anything, so I was determined to get to whatever it was! The deeper I dug the better the signal sounded, but after almost 15 minutes of digging I still had not been able to get to it because of all the roots! I remember thinking I was going to give up when the object FINALLY fell out from under one of the many roots I was battling with. It was a pistol bullet.... but it looked a little different. After rubbing it gently against my pants I realized this bullet only had one ring around the base and was one I had never dug before. But I knew what it was. I had recently just purchased a collection that came out of South Alabama and in it were several Maynard Carbine 50 caliber cartridges and bullets. This one was smaller but I knew I had a Maynard bullet. It looked to be around 36 caliber. Well now the day was looking a little brighter! I placed my detector back in the hole, which at this time was about 10 inches deep, and I heard another target! Back to digging through the roots and eventually another Maynard bullet fell out of the hole. Placing my detector back in the hole I received an even LARGER SIGNAL......in fact it seemed like I was getting signals on all sides of the hole. I gently pulled out my digging knife and gently widened the hole even more. FIVE more Maynard bullets rolled out of the side! Now I was really excited!!! Seven Maynard bullets. Again I placed my XP Deus in the hole and the signal I received was DEAFENING!!! During the course of the next hour I had widened the hole to about a foot and a half across and about 24 inches deep and the total Maynard bullet count was up to 125 and there were still MORE SIGNALS in the hole! I had also found many smaller circular pieces of lead and some of the Maynards had weird pertrusions on their bases. It looked like they had been made in a bullet mold and not snipped properly. The circular pieces were the sprues! By this time it was getting dark so I made the decision to leave. Once I got home I checked Mason and Mckee's bullet book and sure enough the bullets were Maynards but the caliber was 37 and they WERE listed as CS bullets. I could hardly sleep that night. The next morning I was at the site at the crack of dawn. Again I very carefully began probing the sides of the Maynard hole and the first target was not a bullet but a BUTTON! It was a cuff button and I could see an eagle but there was something in the shield. I pulled out my toothbrush that I always carry and gently brushed the face of the button. A quick look and I could plainly see a "V" in the shield ! Now let me tell you, with THIS find I realized I might have a trash pit! My heart was racing! An Eagle "V" cuff button and Maynards !!! Again the digging was exhausting as roots were everywhere but the Maynard bullets were EVERYWHERE!!! I was down to about 2 1/2 feet now when I started to find broken pieces of porcelain china. Many of the pieces were plain white but some had a beautiful blue pattern to them. The Maynard bullets just kept coming and by the end of the second day I had recovered another 298!!! This was the most bullets I had every recovered in one day of digging! The only other brass item discovered that day was an Enfield cleaning tool. The hole was now about 21/2 feet across by 3 feet deep. Day 3 could not get there quick enough and sure enough even MORE signals could be heard in the side walls. That third day, the digging was the hardest. I was already sore from two days of earlier digging and now I was almost directly under the oak tree and the roots were massive and again EVERYWHERE! That day I found another Enfield cleaning tool, several more broken pieces of china, and a total of 74 more Maynard 37's bringing my total count to ASTOUNDING 497!!! At this point I wasn't getting anymore signals in the side walls or the bottom of the hole. The hole was now down to about 3 and 1/2 feet deep by 3 feet wide. I decided to come back one more day and probe the side walls even more. That last day I recover a total of 12 more Maynards. I also found a few musket balls and dropped minnies surface hunting near the Maynard pit. The total Maynard Bullet count ..... 509!!! Strangely none of the bullets had cartridges on them. And many looked as if they had been made in a bullet mold. The First Maynard Model was manufactured between 1858 and 1859. About 3000 Maynard carbines were in Confederate hands during the war; 5,000 in .35 caliber were purchased by Florida, 650 in .50 by Georgia, and 325 in .50 and 300 in .35 by MISSISSIPPI. Around 800 were purchased by militias in South Carolina and Louisiana. Even though I did find the Eagle "V" which were used by troops from Virginia I am sure these Maynard 37 bullets were in Mississippi hands based on all the Mississippi "I" buttons I have found at this spot. I rank this discovery in my top 10 and is a find I will NEVER forget!!!
There are two styles of the CS “Egg”. When viewed from the front, the two are virtually identical. When viewed from the back they are easily distinguishable. The back of the Army of Tennessee style utilizes telegraph wire bent into a three pronged, wire frog and soldered directly to the back of the stamped plate. The Tennessee style is generally found in post 1862 Army of Tennessee camps and battlefields.
The plate shown here is the style issued to the Army of Northern Virginia. The Army of Northern Virginia style also uses telegraph wire to form the belt hooks, but it has a lead filling to give the plate strength and to attach the wire frog to the plate.
Solid Cast Louisiana Button. Only 7 of these extremely rare buttons have been excavated with this button being the best!!! This is by far the best Confederate button I have ever dug!!!
By far one of my favorite items to dig! These little gems were lost by French soldiers who fought at Yorktown in 1781. Over the years I have dug close to 250 of these from 21 different regiments!