100 FINDS IN 100 DAYS: #28 Chewed Civil War “Pain” Bullets

100 FINDS IN 100 DAYS: #28 Chewed Civil War “Pain” Bullets

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:  These are four bullets chewed by soldiers that were in immense pain following the Battle of Franklin, TN.   I’ve dug animal gnawed bullets in the past, and many Civil War experts will tell you there is no documentation or evidence that these exist, but these are the real deal, I assure you.   You can pop the one in the bottom with the teeth imprint in your mouth and it will align with your teeth like a mouthpiece.

Many will say human teeth cannot do this to lead bullets, but imagine chewing on one of these in utter anguish with no pain medication or anesthesia.  The heat in the mouth softens the lead a bit, and your teeth would slightly dent the lead as you tried not to break your teeth on it.  Over a period of two or more days the solid chewing will result in what you see in the photo.

SITE:  Lawn of antebellum home well-documented as used as hospital after the Battle of Franklin.

SITE EVALUATION: 10 of 10  Wreaked of history and fertilized with relics.

PERMISSION:  Property owner that recognized me from singing Karaoke at a local venue.


The Relics Never Lie:  I could have just tossed these into my “camp lead” box.    I noticed the tooth marks and imprints and knew the history of the site I was on.  Coupled with other relics found, such as remains of medical utensils, soldier’s buttons, and battle broken relics, I accepted the improbable reality of what these were.


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