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Five Ladies

by: Larry Henry

This story takes place in the winter of '89. I was still very new to the hobby of metal detecting. I had found a few Mercury dimes, and wheaties and one razor thin 1906 Barber dime. I still hadn't reached my goal to fine a coin dates to the 1800's. This was all about to change.

A friend and former co-worker who also detected, I'll call him J.D., decided we would get together and go hunting after work one blistery winter afternoon. We packed up our gear and headed out to the Warner Parks for a little coin shooting. We arrived with about two hours of daylight left. I ground balanced my trusty Coinmaster and J.D. set up his Compass and away we went. It was quite cool that day, so we were pretty eager to get those coils to the ground and the detectors swinging. We were digging a few modern coins, when I noticed this fellow curiously watching us. After a while he approached us and asked if we were finding anything. We showed him the few modern coins we had found, and he told us about a friend that had found a Indian head penny over by the soccer field which was only 100 yards away. So off we went with high hopes. After about an hour of hunting the soccer field we realized we were wasting our time. The sun was now behind the hills, the north wind had picked up a bit and it was turning cold. We turned and headed back toward the small parking area swinging our machines hoping for one last find. Maybe a wheat penny for our efforts. We were within twenty feet in front of where the cars were parked, when I got a good signal. Not a loud signal, but one of those smooth tones that lets you know you've got something deep. The meter locked in on a penny/dime with every sweep of the coil. I cut myself a big plug and there in the bottom was a 1895 Barber dime. My first coin dated in the 1800's. I rechecked my hole, covered it back up and started back hunting. I had only gone about four feet, when I got another good reading. This one was a Barber quarter. It was starting to get dark now and I was hunting with a new intensity. I found two more Barber dimes and another Barber quarter. As for poor old J.D., he didn't do very well. He was cussin' his machine and swearing it wasn't working right, although it air tested fine.

My final tally that day was two Barber quarters, 1893 & 1898 and five Barber dimes, 1892-O, 1895, 1899, & 1906-D. Four coins dated in the 1800's! One key date! I guess if there is a moral to this story; it's swing that detector all the way back to your car. You never know when you might stumble across something good.

Hood's Confederate Cavalry Camp near
Spring Hill, Tennessee

by: Jack Masters

Wayne Jenkins, Sanford Potts and I had become a little bored while hunting a Yankee camp a few years ago.  The camp was hunted to death and the signals were very thin to say the least.  We decided to branch out and hunt within a half mile or so around the camp in hopes of finding either another part of the same camp or perhaps another.

The Union camp we were hunting was situated on a typical yankee campsite with a nice creek on the southern border.  We went down and paralleled the creek hunting the woods on either side.  Up just past the woods on the other side of the creek we saw an open pasture on nice high ground about 40 yards wide which stretched a couple of hundred yards.  It was a beautiful slope about 1/2 mile off the old road and a likely place for a camp which may have been associated with the camp on the other side of the creek.

Well, Sanford hunted up into the middle of the field, Wayne went to the left and I drifted over the right hand side.  I became less excited about the potential of any camp after covering the whole right hand side and started back to join Wayne and Sanford who had completed their line of hunting and were nearing a fence on the extreme left hand corner of the field.  All of a sudden a nice signal - - - must be a shotgun shell.  The signal turned out to be a dropped 58 cal. minnie.  I signaled to Wayne and Sanford and they circled back to take a little closer look.

I know how many times we hear about being careful and hunting an area too quickly but it had nearly happened to us.  Here we were, three experienced hunters and we just about walked thru a virgin Confederate Cavalry Camp.  How the three of us walked thru all those signals I will never understand but we nearly did.  After hunting the site for several weekends and just looking at all of the signals dug in that field I wouldn't have believed it could happen.  Scary isn't it - - - - especially when you think that most every hunter has probably unknowingly done the same thing.

We found mostly enfield, 58's and carbine bullets but also quiet a few of the prettiest Prussian's I have ever seen with the thick white patina.  We dug many items normally associated with cavalry camps but also a Whitwirth and I can tell you that I still don't understand that.  One of the more interesting relics was what I have come to think is a secret society pin, which is shown below.  If anyone else has any other ideas please let me know.

Pin Front Pin Back

We figure the camp had to be associated with Hood's 1864 action in Franklin. We continued to hunt the camp for several weeks before we were seen going into the area by another hunter.  Guess everyone knows what happened then - - - right?

Well, that can be a lesson for all of us - either with or without hunting experience - - - - don't get into too big of a rush. Camps are hard enough to find, especially confederate, without walking through one.

Hunting Partners

by: Gary Henry

Have you ever been metal detecting alone and made a really great find? What was the first thought that went through your mind once your heart rate returned to normal? If your anything like me it was probably "Boy, I wish I had someone here to show this to." If this has ever happened to you, then you probably realize one of the benefits of having a hunting partner.

A good hunting partner can help make a bad day of hunting more tolerable. They can make a hunt in a questionable part of town much safer. They can help to eliminate cold spots and increase your chances of finding the hot ones, but above all a hunting partner is someone to share the excitement and enthusiasm of our great hobby with.

What is it that makes a good hunting partner? First, they should be someone who shares the same common interest as you. They should be dependable. They should be patient. They should be happy for you when you've made a great find and you should do the same for them, (nothing is worse than a pouting, whining or sulking adult on a metal detecting trip). They should be willing to invest the time into research and locating new hunting sites as you do. They should also be willing to spend the time that it takes to thoroughly check out a potentially good site. They should be able to work with you when scheduling times and places to hunt and last but not least they should honor the "Treasure Hunter's Code of Ethics."

You might be thinking a good hunting partner is hard to find. Well, at the next club meeting just take a good look around and you just might find one. We have good people in our club who live all over middle Tennessee. People who are possibly looking for a hunting partner themselves. But remember, being a good hunting partner is like a 50/50 compromise. You get out of it what you put into it. So be happy, be positive, there simply is not a better hobby in the whole world than ours. Happy Hunting.


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