I’ve detected for over 30 years, but only started detecting Civil War relics over the last couple of years. As a result, I’ve learned the valuable lesson to never throw anything away if you are are not sure what it is. I keep an old military footlocker in my garage full of whats-its. And occasionally I dive in and desperately search and pull out treasures that I recognize on the forums, e-Bay or Facebook posts of another detectorist. “Hey I have one of those!” is a great feeling, as long as you didn’t throw it away. Here are five commonly mis-identified Civil War relics I’ve found and didn’t recognize:
I dug this Hotchkiss fuse over a foot deep in a yard in Nashville in October. I’m going to be dead honest and tell you I thought it was some type of oil or transmission plug or spark plug for a tractor or other heavy equipment. If it wasn’t for the guy I was detecting with, who absolutely tripped out and started celebrating on my behalf, I seriously may have tossed it into the bushes.