Reference Items
Dug relics
Bullet In Wood

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One of the most interesting of relics found near Civil War battlefields are bullets encased in wood tree trunks, branches or even fence posts. As limbs and trees rot away, the oxides of lead leaching out of bullets preserves the wood around them for hundreds of years. The oxides prevent mold and bacteria growth in the wood and preserve a "moment in time” when the minie ball smashed into the wood. Found in Virginia.

Member - Thomas Bowen
Item #: CIV-253

Dug Frame of an 1863 Springfield Revolver

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1863 Springfield Revolver – This rare model pistol was made only in the year 1863 – The company was shut down because of patent infringements. This revolver was excavated in Virginia.

Member - Thomas Bowen
Item #: CIV-252

Cartridge Box Roller Buckle in Cedar Root

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This is a cartridge box roller buckle ingrown amidst a cedar root. Found in Southwestern Missouri in a Federal camp which was occupied in 1862. In the interim years, a cedar root grew around and through the buckle and was preserved.

Member - Thomas Bowen
Item #: CIV-251

Excavated US Belt Plate

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Excavated large US oval regulation waist belt plate with lead fill backing, keeper and both arrow style hooks present. Plate also has a small segment of the original leather belt attached. This belt plate is similar to Figure 32 of Plates & Buckles of the American Military by Sydney Kerksis.

Scratched on the lead back and under the patina caused by ground action are, "T.M. Nixon’ and "Co A.” The Civil War Research Data Base shows only one Federal soldier with this name and company: Pvt. Thomas M. Nixon of Company "A,” 106th Pennsylvania Infantry.

National Archives military and pension records indicate that Pvt. Nixon was a 19 three year old tool maker when he enlisted in the 106th PA in Philadelphia on August 17, 1861. He mustered out on September 10, 1864.

The 106th PA was one of four regiments that comprised the famed Philadelphia Brigade, and was an active participant in the battles of Antietam, Fredericksburg and Gettysburg, as well as the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Court House. Pvt. Nixon is listed as present during all of these battles. Total losses for the regiment were:

Killed or died from wounds – 9 officers; 90 enlisted men
Died of disease or other causes – 1 officer; 94 enlisted men
Wounded, not mortally – 24 officers; 373 enlisted men
Captured or missing – 5 officers; 152 enlisted men

Pvt. Nixon survived the war, married and ultimately collected a US pension. He died on May 26, 1898 at the age of 56.

Member - Tim Matthews
Item #: CIV-180

Eagle breastplate

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Crisp, dug eagle breastplate, maker marked "W.H.Smith, Brooklyn”. Very clear marking on reverse, along with both fastening hooks although ground action is visible. No bends or dings. Rich dark patina on face of uncleaned brass.

Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-138

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