In this series, we have selected 100 metal detecting finds that were extremely difficult to detect and recover, and provide details on the circumstances and techniques that contributed to their successful recovery.
KEEPER: This is an NCO (Non-Commissioned Officer) style Eagle Breast Plate manufactured in the 1840s. It is slightly larger than a regular Eagle Breast Plate and was worn by Confederate soldiers. This is the second of two of these I found in the camp I was hunting. The breast plate was worn on an ammunition pouch or bayonet sling and was centered on the chest. Many soldiers considered them “bulls-eyes” for sharpshooters and tossed them.
The interesting thing is the NCO style is much rarer than a regular breast plate. I’ve found two NCOs but have never dug a regular breast plate. This is explainable due to the nature of where I found them, though.
SITE: Confederate Civil War Camp
SITE EVALUATION: 10 of 10 One of the best places I’ve ever hunted. Seemed like every other thing I dug was something unusual and/or rare.
The Missing Piece: It was right at dark, and I found this Dandy looking for a missing piece of something else I just found. Looking for something small like a missing piece forces you to concentrate and hunt hard on a tiny area. Something to think about as I don’t think I’d have dug this deep plate had I not been looking for that missing piece (which I didn’t find).
Edge of Driveways: I’ve found some great stuff on the edge of driveways and patios and sidewalks on sites that have been hunted hard. Sometimes you might need a small coil to get close to the concrete if the concrete has supporting rebar or metal in it.
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