Monday, March 3, 2014

Richmond Grays 1844...

Honor Roll Richmond Grays 1870's

        Who were the Richmond Grays and what is the history behind them? These were questions that popped in my mind after I realized I had dug one of their shoulder plates. I say "realized" because at first I thought it was "junk" as you can see in the video. (here) * Took video down as people have already gone looking for the spot * It wasn't till I got home and ran some water over the relic, did I realize it was something special. Metal detecting a new permission for the first time and having just found a 1943 Washington quarter right on the surface my hopes were high with the sound of another good target. The plate came out of the ground bent over onto itself. It just looked like junk being only a few inches deep. After bending the plate back out close to its original shape I could tell something was there...still not sure I put it in my finds pouch and entered the GPS location into my CTX.
1st Virginia Militia and or Richmond Grays
          Starting the research process was initially a quick Google search and then a call to Ran Hundley owner of Sgt. Riker's in Ashland, VA. Ran stated he had never dug one and knew they were rare to dig and congratulated me on the find. He asked me to bring it by the store and I told him I would. I called some of my closest metal detecting friends and told them all about finding it...but really couldn't tell them much about the history behind the relic. I could feel this "I've got to know more" mindset starting to build...

         This is why I Metal Detect

          Diving into the Internet, searching for any information about the Richmond Grays, I found the most amazing history...that I never knew about. The 1844 date on the plate represents the date the Grays formed. To be exact January 29, 1844, a little over 170 years ago. In June of 1861, the Richmond Grays along with other local militia units mustered into Confederate service. This formed the 1st Virginia Infantry or more famously known as the "Williams Rifles." The 1st Virginia Infantry served with distinction throughout the war. James Kemper, Governor of Virginia stated "You know I was identified with the First through many bloody vicissitudes. Jollier men in camp, braver soldiers in battle, were not found in the Army of North
         The mentioning of the name John Wilkes Booth even today stirs up uncomfortable feeling for many. During my research I learned that John Wilkes Booth was in fact a member of the Richmond Grays. John Brown's invasion of Virginia in 1859, his capture and execution are all linked to the Richmond Grays.
Is this Booth?

Please read the book "Has He Been Hiding in Plain Sight? John Wilkes Booth and The Richmond Grays" by Angela Smythe. Its only 41 pages and online for free. I have really enjoyed reading it and I would think anyone who is interested in Civil War history would enjoy it.  Thanks for reading my short account, as I could write many pages on this subject. Please comment on this article and share what you may know about the Richmond Grays...

Dug March 1 2014
Websites used in gathering information:

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Sony Action Cam for Metal Detecting

I've been carrying a tripod and video camera around since this spring and I don't mind saying "I started to hate videoing my hunts." Trying to hold a digging shovel and tripod in one hand and swing my machine in the other was a pain. I looked at all the POV video cameras out and really liked the Sony. I have used Sony products for years and have had good luck with them.

At this point, I have decided on mounting the cam on my headphones. This option gives me the best actual POV that does not hinder my normal swing. The cam is out of the way. It did take a few mounting attempts to get the angle right, but I think I have it just about right now. Anyone that videos their metal detecting outings should consider this option. It gives you the ability to film your entire process from getting the target signal, digging target and recovery. All of us that watch YouTube videos of metal detecting love it when we see a nice coin come popping out of the ground somewhat "LIVE." As if we were there...

Here is a short video on how I have mine mounted:


Monday, October 14, 2013

Guys love "Gear", any type of gear...

Most guys love the gear they use for any of their hobbies. Fishing gear, hunting gear, racing gear, metal detecting gear, the past time and you can name the gear that comes with participating in that hobby. A lot of gear is inter-changeable with various hobbies. Hunting boots can be used for any of the outdoor hobbies. Flash lights are in just about any hobbies gear list.

What I would like to talk about is the gear used for metal detecting. Over the years I have developed a pile of gear that I use most every time I go detecting. Through trial and error I have compiled a list of essential gear (on my person), back up gear (in the truck) and just in case gear (also in the truck). We will start with the essential gear.

In the photo below are my essential gear items. Belt, with finds bag, digging knife, pin pointer and gloves. I always have this on my person when detecting for coins or relics. Also, I have used the "Predator" relic shovel for many years and can't imagine using another. This shovel is the best. I like a wide belt as it holds the items on it more securely. I use a Minelab digging knife and am satisfied with the performance. Garrett pin pointer has been great over the years, but will try the Minelab Pro pin pointer soon. Will let you know my thoughts on it once I have used it awhile. Always carry a few cleaning brushes to help ID finds in the field. Toilet paper is a must and is always close by. Good pair of gloves, I use a cheap $4 pair and when they wear out I toss them. Marking tape to mark an area or a spot. The waist pouch (camo) is new and I will be trying it out on the next few hunts. I have seen some other guys using them on some video and figured I give it a try. More pockets, more gear!!
Essential Gear
Recently I started wearing a vest all the time when detecting. I have a summer vest as well as a fall/winter vest. Fall and Winter vest has blazed orange. They both have plenty of pockets to store more gear!!! Adding to the essentials list, I always carry my camera, cell phone, reading glasses, magnifying glass, field notebook and water. I use to carry a GPS, but with the CTX 3030's on board GPS that is a mute point. Inside my finds bag I carry small containers to store my good finds. Putting coins, buttons or small brass items inside these containers along with some soil will help protect them during the rest of the hunt. Cell phone for an emergency. Camera for videos that go on YouTube as well as documenting a find. Reading glasses and magnifying glass because my eyesight is not what they used to be. Field notebook to write down notes about finds found. Even with the GPS on the CTX, I still need the field notebook. Its faster to write a few notes than to do data entry in the field. My process when finding a nice target is recover item, mark spot with the CTX's GPS, take a few notes and then on to the next find.
Back up and Just in case gear

Back up gear is stored in the truck and most of it fits into a large tote box shown below. My back up gear is extra batteries for metal detector and pin pointer. Car chargers for CTX battery, Wireless module and video camera. Extra storage containers for finds, rags for wiping down detector and a few tools.

Just in case gear consist of spare metal detector, heavy duty scoop for river, creeks and ponds. First aide kit

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

This video is of a few hunts we did over last few days. I got permission to hunt some farm land just west of Ashland, VA. The farmer that owns the land has some prime property for relic hunting. Last hunt was with my friend Robbie at one of his spots in Caroline county, VA. Robbie hunted a yard in the city of Richmond the other day and pulled seven silver coins out of the ground. Robbie needs to start videoing his hunts. Seven silver coins...nice. Don't forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel for a chance to win two nice prizes. HH


YouTube Channel Metal Detecting Virginia's Big Contest...

Spread the word to everyone about the contest. Current subscribers and new subscribers qualify. As soon as we get to 100 subscribers total, someone wins both prizes...

Here are some photos of the prizes:


Thursday, October 3, 2013

Good hunt from this spring...

I ended up with 0.5 oz of silver with two finds. Not bad for a site that is holding it's silver tightly in the ground. I will be back at this site after deer hunting season. Thanks for watching