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  • Writer's pictureTim Murphy

Diggin' In Virginia XXXV: Glebe Farm

This past weekend I traveled back to Culpeper, VA, in anticipation for Diggin' In Virginia XXXV, my eleventh hunt with the organization. But for all of us who attended, this was the first time we were able to hunt Glebe Farm, home to Vermont and Confederate regiments during the Civil War. It was very exciting to detect a brand new spot, not knowing what may lie beneath the dirt.

The top-third of the bottle I found in the trash pit

Day 1 started off with a bang. It was first time I actually saw people sprinting to their vehicles toget to the camp sites. The entire farm itself spanned over 1200 acres, but the majority of the camps were concentrated into a roughly 300 acre area. Needless to say, with over 400 people attending, it got really crowded really fast. Honestly, I couldn't hear myself think with all the chatter and interference from the other machines. After only managing to find a few bullets, I decided to try my luck in the woods where the Vermont infantry built their winter quarters. Despite it being November, the woods were still leafy and green, full of prickers and thorn bushes. I spent about an hour in there, only finding a Colt pistol bullet, and decided to head back. On my way out, however, I came across a really good signal next to some hut ruins. I dug down about a foot and saw shards of glass. Turns out I found a very small trash pit. I pulled two ration cans out of the hole and the top third of a champagne bottle (the bottle had a rock thrown in the middle of it...). Overall, it was a great start to the hunt.

Days two and three were much of the same. I found a lot of bullets and lead, but not much brass. I ended the hunt with over 40 bullets, two button backs, a brass cuff link, a poker chip, and the mid-section to a Shaler bullet, which are extremely hard to find complete. Incidentally, one guy found an ammo dump that contained over 700 complete Shalers. And with each one valued at $150, you do the math. Although I didn't hit the big-ticket item, I still had a really fun time. It's always exhilarating to be given this opportunity to save history from the earth. I especially want to thank John and Rose Kendrick and the DIV committee for organizing these events. It is a pleasure to be able to hunt with you guys and I am very grateful. Below are some of the highlights from the hunt:


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