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Shown on this page are some excavated and non-excavated digging tools. I have some other tools which I will add as time permits. All of the excavated tools were dug by me from CW sites with the owners permission. Most of the implements were dug from depths of 2 to 4 feet sometimes under a trench or in a trash pit which dates them CW or pre CW.

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This is a shovel that came from a Confederate battery on the Howlett Line. Lords CW Encyclopedia identifies this as an Artillery Shovel (4 feet 6.5 inches long). There was a iron ring attached to the handle about a foot from the end to facilitate securing the shovel. The "Long-handled" shovel was issued to the light artillery for placement on the cassion "at the side and under the boxes, staples and other arrangements for securing a long-handled shovel and a spare hanspike." (Gibbon, The Artillerist Manual, 1863, p170 & p432.) Thanks to Brian Koenig for providing information concerning the issue and carrying of this shovel.

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Frying pan handle from Confederate earth works in Petersburg near Hatchers Run. I know this has nothing to do with digging but I copied it for my frying pan and someone else may want to do the same thing.

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Pick found in a Confederate trench at Petersburg. The pick is 18.5 inches long.

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Flat shovel found in a Federal Fort near Petersburg.


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Here are two pictures showing flat shovels similar to the dug one above. The one above one came off of e-bay. The bottom picture is courtesy of Christopher Newton. It is believed to have been taken in Centerville in 1862. Look at all the ration cans littering the ground.

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D-Handle flat spade of the type used in the Civil War. I have a dug example of this spade and will post it as soon as I can remember who I gave it to. Notice the flat reinforcements on the step portion of the blade. The metal above the blade that the wood fits in is stamped with the number 3 and a J inside of a box.


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There are many of these grub hoes found around CW entrenchments. The hoe on the left was found on one of the Seven Days Battlefields. It was about 18 - 24 inches deep. In the dirt that came from the bottom of the hole was an 1867 nickel. I thought this was unusual to have a post war coin that deep. Later while researching the site I learned that the Confederate dead had been disinterred in 1867. The coin was undoubtly lost by one of the workers removing the bodies which had been hastly buried.   The hoe on the right came from a large Union Camp in Petersburg.

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This is commonly called an artillery hammer. These come in various styles, all about the same size. The lower end of the handle is wedge shaped. The hammer is 7.5 inches long.

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  The above picture shows that entrenching tools are not all that comes out of the ground. The bullets are all gardners or confederate nose cast, the buckle is US and the fuse is Confederate. There are three Enfields and two Springfield rifles, all capped. All this was recovered in one day from a covered over trench a few years ago.


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Bayonets and Scabbards Confederate Canteens Federal Canteens