One of my favorite things about the hobby of metal detecting is that every now and then I get surprised by an unexpected find.
Recently, I took the E-Trac to a creek that I’ve hunted in the past, but hadn’t ever really found much there. I was going a bit slower than usual and looking for old coins or silver when I got a tone that I thought could be a pull tab or even a penny, so I decided dig the target to see what it was.
At first I thought I had found a dirty rock, but the more dirt I wiped off of it the more it started to look like something…
I was like “No Way!” finally, my first Civil War bullet, otherwise known as a Minie’ ball. This was definitely a surprise find, and interestingly enough, from past research on civil war troop movements and encampments finding this bullet there coincides with some of the things I’ve read about that area
The following weekend I went back to see if I could find any more Civil War related relics in that area and did find some “camp lead” which is melted lead from camp fires and bullet making.
The “sprue” on this musket ball is the excess lead that forms the ‘tail’ on the ball when the bullet was cast. The sprue is usually snipped off. The musket ball is called a ‘drop’ and was probably dropped by the soldier that was sitting there making bullets.
At first I didn’t know what it was, but now that I do, I consider is a pretty neat find given it’s history and scarcity.
Actually, both of these bullets were dropped so it’s apparent that troops were camped there, probably making bullets as they prepared for battle further up the creek.
Finds like these make you take pause and remember a time in history when life in our country was much harder than it is today. These bullets represent the struggle our nation went through as history molded our country into what it is today.
On the surface these are just bullets, but the story that they tell us about life 150 years ago is to be remembered forever.