Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Following the Ash

Following the clue of ash in the hole and ash on bullets leads to some excellent recoveries.

Umbrella Inkwells

On this particular afternoon I probed out the corner of a half brick at about 2' depth. You can see the nick on the corner left by the probe. That would lead to some nice glass in the form of umbrella inkwells.  Apparently, this soldier's hut site was occupied by some prolific writers.  I think mom, sweetheart and those near and dear received many an update from soldier sons and husbands.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Excavating a Civil War Hut

The videos below show discoveries made during the excavation of two soldier huts I located using  metal detection (vs probing). In each case, the iron, cannister shot and a ration can put me on the firepits of the hut.  Expanding them led to the glass, buttons, bullets, iron eating implements and hatpin discoveries.  I hope you enjoy these windows into the camp life of a civil war soldier.


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Powder Flask Restoration

Received this powder flask from a detectorist.  It's a fairly straightforward task except that one must be careful not to ruin details while returning the stamped brass to it's original shape and form. 

The spout has beeen reattached to the spout mechanism in the image above right and is ready for mounting within the re-shaped top.

Sunday, August 30, 2015


About the time I planned to wrap up this hunt, I happened to swing across a signal that blew my ears off.  At about one foot depth I saw the telltale rounded edge and strap attachment of a canteen.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A Hot Late July Hut Dig

After probing for some time, I felt the distinctive crunch of rocks at about the two-foot level.  Digging down put me on a hut with lots of ash, broken glass and bone.  Sticking with it and digging out to its perimeter yielded many nice artifacts including an umbrella ink.  The video of the find can be viewed below.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Hut Excavation & Relics

After months of probing out hut sites and coming up with little to show, I finally got into one that yielded several complete bottles and a few other nice relics.  I had been surface hunting with great success and hoping to get into a deep cache of relics that often comes with huts.  The US buckle was the signal that put me on the hut. Next to the buckle were remains of a soldiers kepi (cloth and buckle) as well as his powder flask.

The shot below shows the recovery of a nice black-glasss Hostetter's bitters pulled from between two rocks adjacent to the firepit.

 The short clip below is of the complete canteen that lay next to the soldier's firebox.  

Sinking a test hole to find the edge of the hut ,opposite the corner where the initial finds were made, put me on yet more glass.  The clip below shows a medicine bottle recovery. More would follow.

 In this video, I've just scraped away the dirt, just to the right of my hand in the video still above and inches from the medicine bottle, exposing the embossed panel of a flask.  The question, as always, is...intact or broken?  My sister was there to record the recovery.

A return visit to the hut firepit yielded the RRR Radway below