10 April 2011

Metal Detecting Post #29 - NY State Militia Button

Continuing my Diggin' in Virginia XVII finds . . . this was my very first find at the event which began Thursday morning, 31 March 2011 near Brandy Station in Culpeper, Virginia: a New York State Militia button. The design is an eagle over a shield containing a federal flag with "EXCELSIOR" (Latin for "still higher" or "ever upward" from the New York state seal) written across the bottom. The back is missing and it has a small crack in the shield. But some of the gold gilt still remains on both front and back, especially around the edges. I found this in a very low-lying swampy area that most diggers were just passing through to get from one field to another. I decided to turn my detector on and see what happened. Two of my digging buddies walked right over it before I found it. The hole would fill with water as fast as I could pull dirt out. I lost the signal completely at one point, but decided to pull one more shovel full out and there it was. I actually shot some video of this dig, but have not put all that together yet. I hope to do that some time this week. More pics and stories to come. (Click images to enlarge for detail.)

Non-dug version of the
New York Militia Button



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