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by: Larry Henry
This story takes place in the winter of '89. I was still very new to the
hobby of metal detecting. I had found a few Mercury dimes, and wheaties and
one razor thin 1906 Barber dime. I still hadn't reached my goal to fine a
coin dates to the 1800's. This was all about to change.
A friend and former co-worker who also detected, I'll call him J.D.,
decided we would get together and go hunting after work one blistery winter
afternoon. We packed up our gear and headed out to the Warner Parks for a
little coin shooting. We arrived with about two hours of daylight left. I
ground balanced my trusty Coinmaster and J.D. set up his Compass and away
we went. It was quite cool that day, so we were pretty eager to get those
coils to the ground and the detectors swinging. We were digging a few modern
coins, when I noticed this fellow curiously watching us. After a while he
approached us and asked if we were finding anything. We showed him the few
modern coins we had found, and he told us about a friend that had found a
Indian head penny over by the soccer field which was only 100 yards away.
So off we went with high hopes. After about an hour of hunting the soccer
field we realized we were wasting our time. The sun was now behind the hills,
the north wind had picked up a bit and it was turning cold. We turned and
headed back toward the small parking area swinging our machines hoping for
one last find. Maybe a wheat penny for our efforts. We were within twenty
feet in front of where the cars were parked, when I got a good signal. Not
a loud signal, but one of those smooth tones that lets you know
you've got something deep. The meter locked in on a penny/dime with every
sweep of the coil. I cut myself a big plug and there in the bottom was a
1895 Barber dime. My first coin dated in the 1800's. I rechecked my hole,
covered it back up and started back hunting. I had only gone about four feet,
when I got another good reading. This one was a Barber quarter. It was
starting to get dark now and I was hunting with a new intensity. I found
two more Barber dimes and another Barber quarter. As for poor old J.D., he
didn't do very well. He was cussin' his machine and swearing it wasn't
working right, although it air tested fine.
My final tally that day was two Barber quarters, 1893 & 1898 and five
Barber dimes, 1892-O, 1895, 1899, & 1906-D. Four coins dated in the 1800's!
One key date! I guess if there is a moral to this story; it's swing that
detector all the way back to your car. You never know when you might
stumble across something good.
Hood's Confederate Cavalry Camp near
Spring Hill, Tennessee
by: Jack Masters
Wayne Jenkins, Sanford Potts and I had become
a little bored while hunting a Yankee camp a few years ago. The camp was hunted to death and the signals
were very thin to say the least. We decided to branch out and hunt
within a half mile or so around the camp in hopes of finding either another
part of the same camp or perhaps another.
The Union camp we were hunting was situated on a typical yankee campsite
with a nice creek on the southern border. We went down and paralleled the
creek hunting the woods on either side. Up just past the woods on the other
side of the creek we saw an open pasture on nice high ground about 40 yards
wide which stretched a couple of hundred yards. It was a beautiful
slope about 1/2 mile off the old road and a likely place for a camp which
may have been associated with the camp on the other side of the creek.
Well, Sanford hunted up into the middle of the field, Wayne went to
the left and I drifted over the right hand side. I became less excited about
the potential of any camp after covering the whole right hand side and
started back to join Wayne and Sanford who had completed their line of
hunting and were nearing a fence on the extreme left hand corner of the
field. All of a sudden a nice signal - - - must be a shotgun shell. The
signal turned out to be a dropped 58 cal. minnie. I signaled to Wayne
and Sanford and they circled back to take a little closer look.
I know how many times we hear about being careful and hunting an area
too quickly but it had nearly happened to us. Here we were, three
experienced hunters and we just about walked thru a virgin Confederate
Cavalry Camp. How the three of us walked thru all those signals I will never
understand but we nearly did. After hunting the site for several weekends
and just looking at all of the signals dug in that field I wouldn't have
believed it could happen. Scary isn't it - - - - especially
when you think that most every hunter has probably unknowingly done the
We found mostly enfield, 58's and carbine bullets but also quiet a
few of the prettiest Prussian's I have ever seen with the thick white patina. We dug many items normally associated with cavalry camps but also a
Whitwirth and I can tell you that I still don't understand that. One of
the more interesting relics was what I have come to think is a secret
society pin, which is shown below. If anyone else has any other ideas
please let me know.
We figure the camp had to be associated with
Hood's 1864 action in Franklin. We continued to hunt the camp for several
weeks before we were seen going into the area by another hunter. Guess
everyone knows what happened then - - - right?
Well, that can be a lesson for all of us - either with or without hunting
experience - - - - don't get into too big of a rush. Camps are hard enough
to find, especially confederate, without walking through one.
by: Gary Henry
Have you ever been metal detecting alone and
made a really great find? What was the first thought that went through
your mind once your heart rate returned to normal? If your anything like
me it was probably "Boy, I wish
I had someone here to show this to." If this has ever happened to you, then
you probably realize one of the benefits of having a hunting partner.
A good hunting partner can help make a bad day of hunting more tolerable.
They can make a hunt in a questionable part of town much safer. They can
help to eliminate cold spots and increase your chances of finding the hot
ones, but above all a hunting partner is someone to share the excitement
and enthusiasm of our great hobby with.
What is it that makes a good hunting partner? First, they should be
someone who shares the same common interest as you. They should be dependable.
They should be patient. They should be happy for you when you've made a great
find and you should do the same for them, (nothing is worse than a pouting,
whining or sulking adult on a metal detecting trip). They should be willing
to invest the time into research and locating new hunting sites as you do.
They should also be willing to spend the time that it takes to thoroughly
check out a potentially good site. They should be able to work with you
when scheduling times and places to hunt and last but not least they should
honor the "Treasure Hunter's Code of Ethics."
You might be thinking a good hunting partner is hard to find. Well, at the
next club meeting just take a good look around and you just might find one.
We have good people in our club who live all over middle Tennessee. People
who are possibly looking for a hunting partner themselves. But remember,
being a good hunting partner is like a 50/50 compromise. You get out of it
what you put into it. So be happy, be positive, there simply is not a
better hobby in the whole world than ours. Happy Hunting.
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