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 is a beautiful flat button found in a Civil War campsite. A fellow Middle Tennessee Metal Detecting Club member dug another just like it. These buttons date to the 1820s and 1840s. These buttons were worn by the majority of the ill-equipped Confederate army.
SITE: Civil war camp for troops guarding railroad trestles.
SITE EVALUATION: 9 of 10 Almost virgin encampment. Relics were everywhere. Very rare to hit a site like that these days!
PERMISSION: Gracious invite by another detectorist.
Big Coil: Proper coil selection is situational. Small coils are good in heavy trash and iron, but don’t provide a lot of coverage. Stock coils are great for general situations. Big coils get extra depth and coverage but are heavy and not good in ground that has lots of trash and iron. I was invited after most easy finds had been culled from the site. I put a 17 inch coil on one of my detectors, which enabled me to save a giant pile of bullets, buttons, knapsack hooks and other finds including this button.
Remove the Obstacles: When you are finding stuff everywhere, and finally start to exhaust the finds, get things out of your way to expose more finds. This flat button was on the edge of a brushpile.
Proper Cleaning: Civil War relics have been in the ground over 150 years. Many are damaged by improper cleaning. I carefully cleaned this one carefully to maintain the gold gilt.
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