100 FINDS IN 100 DAYS: #22 Civil War Soldier Lead Pencil

100 FINDS IN 100 DAYS: #22 Civil War Soldier Lead Pencil

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:  Civil War soldier made lead pencil.  These are found with some regularity in camps, usually Confederate.  The Confederates often didn’t have a lot of basic necessities and made these to write letters and diary entries.  I wasn’t 100% sure it was what I was told it was until I tried to write with it.  The soft lead writes just like a pencil, and it conformed to my hand just like it conformed to the last person that wrote with it over 150 years ago.  One of my favorite relics.

SITE:  Civil War Camp

SITE EVALUATION: 7 of 10  Had been hunted hard in the past, but I still got a few great camp relics.


I wrote a letter to a friend with the pencil.

PERMISSION:  Property owner who was walking his dog while I was hunting a nearby yard.  I struck up a conversation and he asked me to come over and hunt his yard!


Try to Identify Everything: It is easy to assume something is trash.  Don’t throw something away that is an incredible relic.  I recommend throwing anything that you aren’t 100% sure isn’t a relic into a box in your garage.   I’m always jumping in my boxes and trying to find something I just saw online or in a reference book or at a club meeting and learned what it was.


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There are 2 comments for this article
  1. rick anderson at 8:29 am

    You have made some incredible finds Clark. If my memory serves me right you posted that your wife is a professional photographer. If that is the case she deserves high praise for her work, it is fantastic. Her layout and presentation is incomparable!

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