100 FINDS IN 100 DAYS: #89: Civil War NCO Eagle Waist Belt Plate

100 FINDS IN 100 DAYS: #89: Civil War NCO Eagle Waist Belt Plate

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:  Non Commissioned Officer / Musicians Eagle Belt Plate.  This has three hooks on back, and is much rare than a regular soldier’s eagle breastplate.

SITE:  Yard identified from Heavy Research

SITE EVALUATION:  6 of 10  Yard had been heavily hunted in past but had obviously produced major relics at some point

PERMISSION:   Homeowner came over and introduced himself, offered his yard, while I was hunting next door neighbor previously.   Nice!

KEY PRINCIPLES:

Scrub the Hot Spots:   This yard was huge – 5 acres or so.  All the relics – bullets, an eagle button, and a few others – had come from one area – the very bottom of a hill the house was on.   Once I had fruitlessly roamed the yard for a couple of house I decided to come back and re-hunt the “hot area” even though I thought I had exhausted it.  That’s where the treasure be, yo.

Dig Every Cent on Civil War Sites:  I’ve dug 4 plates this year, and each of them sounded like a solid shallow penny or dime.  Solid signal, solid numbers, but the depth showed wrong (two different detectors).   I thought I was digging a clad dime at 3 inches.  When my pinpointer wouldn’t go off at 4 inches I started to get excited.

Savor the Moment:   This was a first for me, and a special find.  I couldn’t get my heartrate down for about 20 minutes.   We hunt many days and hours without finding something like this, so soak it up, and remember it next time you are struggling.    As one of the middle Tennessee greats says, “Redig it.”

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