« Back to Finds Posted May 1st, 2010 by Christopher N.

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Item Found: Rare

Location: Georgia

Metal Detector Used: M-Series (800-0308-1)

May 1st, 2010


September 2, 1864 a tired and defeated Army of Tennessee began retreating from Atlanta, Georgia under the command of Gen. John Bell Hood. The army began heading north in an effort to enter into Tennessee.

On October 15, 1864 after more than a month of being on the run, Assistant Adjutant General A.P. Mason wrote a letter to Joseph Wheeler requesting cavalry to come nearer to the army. In this directive he lists many landmarks that the army would be near or passing on their route.

Fast forward 148 years to 2010 and we get to my story. I had read this letter so many times and tried tirelessly to locate the landmarks noted with no success. In November, just before Thanksgiving a lady visited my office, seeing some of the civil war items on my desk, she invited me to detect on her property. I made the trip the following weekend and immediately found a Union eagle cuff button along with a carved piece of lead. On the next trip I found more small items but I also located what appeared to be an old roadbed and started to hunt around it. I found another Union button and a cuff button back. My next excursion provided me with the best find I have ever made.

January 18, 2010, I began searching on the old roadbed again and got a good signal around 8 inches deep, near the edge of the road, close to a pine tree. I dug down and saw a button in the hole. Immediately I thought, "It's another eagle button." I removed it from the hole and immediately realized that I had never seen this type of button before – the button had a pair of crossed cannons with a star above it and writing on the bottom. I gently brushed the face of the button but could not make out the writing so I soon left the site, full of curiosity as to the origin of my find.

The thought that this may be a Texas button had crossed my mind due to the star near the top. I opened my button book immediately when I arrived home and started looking at Texas buttons. It was then that I realized how rare of a find my MXT had provided me. I had found an 1837 Republic of Texas Artillery button!!! My mind immediately began imagining all this button had witnessed and all the miles it had traveled to be lost by one of the men in John Bell Hood's retreating Army of Tennessee on October 15, 1864 while they passed down this road I had looked for and never found until now. The hardships, the long marches and the battles the man wearing this button saw are unimaginable to us today. This is a true treasure and a unique piece of history.

You can see this treasure fresh out of the ground in Episode 17 of GA Dirt Fishin' on YouTube. This is a find that I will never forget and will one day pass down to my girls. Thank you White's for producing a great machine like the MXT.

Christopher N.
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