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The Pickett Post

"C'mon Billy", Jason yelled back at his friend, after running off the school bus. "Don't you want to get at least a few good hours of hunting in, before it gets dark?".

"Hold on, hold on", Billy yelled back while fumbling with his bookbag. Billy was always the slower, and more calm over the two brothers, but was always as equally excited when it came down to relic hunting. Although they had only been doing it a little over a year, they had come to learn many things about the hobby, and their new farm, in the sprawling feilds of Virginia, provided them with new, unsearched area's to hunt. 40 acre's may not seem like a lot, but for a relic hunter, it can hold relics beyond your mind can think.

Billy, finally becoming angry with his bookbag, threw it down in their yard, and ran after his brother, who was already loading their Tesoro metal detectors on their 4-wheeler. Although only 15 years old, both boys had an excellent knowledge of the Civil War, and what they were expecting to find while on the hunt.

Jason climbed on the 4-wheeler, and waited for Billy to get adjusted behind him. Slowly, he began pulling out of the yard, and headed for the already open gate to their property.

"I bet we find 100 minie's" Billy yelled at his brother.

"Don't be so confident bro, this is our first time out here. Who knows. There might not be anything out there at all".

They rode on, over their land, wondering what they would find. A bayonet? Maybe a breast plate? Thoughts of amazing relics filled their heads, as Jason slowly pulled the 4-wheeler to a halt, just out of sight from their house.

"I'm going to work the woodline over there, and you check that creek bank. We meet over there." Jason said, pointing to the clearing beyond the woods.

Not needing to ask questions, Billy took his metal detector, and took off at a slow jog towards the creek bed.

Reaching the creek, Billy turned on his Tesoro, and slowly, began moving his detector back and forth, back and forth in a swaying motion, waiting for that inmistakable sound, to come through his headphones.

Glancing over at Billy every now and then, Jason slowly worked the woodline. Waiting......waiting...BHAM! There is was.........that sound....that inmistakable sound. Metal.

Quickly removing his headphones, Jason set his detector down, and took out his spade. Slowly, and cautiously, he began to dig. Removing the large clod of dirt, Jason saw, staring back at him, the dirt-encrusted remains, of a US Boxplate.

Looking up, Billy saw his brother bent over, scraping away some dirt. "Lucky bum", he said. Thinking he'd give it a few more low swings over the ground, Billy started walking along the creek bed, to a spot where he could easily climb out. Swinging his detector back and forth, he thought he heard it.

"No, couldn't be", he said. Just to be sure, he placed the detector over the spot again, and there it was. Taking his spade out of his belt, he slowing began to move away a few layers of dirt, mud, rock. Taking out one final heap of mud, he saw his prize......the spout of a canteen. Although it didn't compare to other relics he had found, there's something about finding a relic, any relic, knowing it hasen't been touched for over 130 years. It almost takes your breath away.

Carefully brushing the dirt away from the spout, Billy finally got a good look at it. The side was dented in, and had a deep gash through it. At the bottom, it liked like it had almost been blown away from the rest of the canteen. Standing up, Billy lifted his detector up onto the enbankment, and climbed up himself. Walking over towards his brother, Billy saw him sitting next to a tree, holding something in his hand.

"Whatcha got" Billy asked.

"US Boxplate. Its pretty bent outta shape though".

" I can't believe you. All I found was a canteen spout over by the creek" Billy said.

Putting his relic carefully into his pouch, Jason started off for the clearing telling his brother to come with him, so that they could hunt using their favorite method...working in circles from the outside to the middle.

Billy ran and got his things, and quickly ran over to the clearing, where his brother was already going in a wide circle around the small clearing. Billy picked up on the other side, and continued the motion.

Almost at the same time, the boys got the signal. Looking across the clearing at each other, both bent down and began to dig, carefully, not to cut or gash whatever was down there.

Billy was the first to pull his prize out of the ground.....two knapsack hooks. A few seconds later, Jason pulled out a Confederate Block I button, shank entact. Not wasting any time to congradulate each other, both boys carefully put away their relics, and continued to hunt. The sun was begining to set, and they knew they had only about an hour left.

While riding home on their 4-wheeler, both boys discussed the area they hunted. Billy came home with 2 knapsack hooks, the canteen spout, 3 flat buttons, and 2 Confederate 2-ring bullets, both not fired. Jason fared a little better, with his US Boxplate, the 2 Confederate Block I buttons, 1 flat button, 5 dropped Confed. 2-ringers, a musket tool, and 2 brass company letters, D and F. Both boys ended up agreeing that they had stumbled upon a small Confederate picket camp. The only thing they couldn't explain, was how they found two US items, less than 300 yards away. I guess that just goes to show how close you can get to the enemy, without them knowing.

Both of the boys looked forward to a night of relic cleaning, and planning their next trip, to their new spot.

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