100 FINDS IN 100 DAYS: #65 Soldier’s Knife

100 FINDS IN 100 DAYS: #65 Soldier’s Knife

Note:   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 was a soldier’s pocket knife, found on a major battlefield with other Civil War relics.  The soldier added his initials by hand on both sides.  I find it interesting that it was found opened, and part of the blade is rusted off.  It has been validated as probably Civil War period.   Probably not worth a whole lot, but I love the personalization.

SITE: Small front yard of a small house in a neighborhood on the battlefield

SITE EVALUATION: 5 of 10 Small yard produced a few finds.  Together with the yards around it, we found a lot of relics though.

PERMISSION:  Crazy college girls laying out in bikinis and drinking beer.  Seriously.  You should have been there.


Dead Middle of Yard:  It is amazing to me how the best relic I’ll find will be dead in the geometric center of the yard.  It is tempting to start on the outskirts or not obvious areas because of how hard everywhere seems to have been hunted these days, but I like to hunt every yard like its never been hunted before, at least until I feel otherwise.

ID ME:  I find pocket knives all the time, and could have thrown this in the pile with the rest of them.    Taking some time to determine a possible date range and manufacturer is a lot of fun, and can bring more enjoyment to a find such as this one.  I know which Confederate and Union forces fought in this specific area, but unfortunately the initials “JL” were too common to narrow down to less than 50 or so soldiers.  Would have been cool to figure out whose knife this probably belonged to.



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