Long time friend and relic hunting partner, Doug Hill, met up with me in Culpeper County (on private property near Brandy Station) week before last to dig Civil War relics for three days. Doug made some great finds, including a US belt plate. (More on that in an upcoming video). But his best find of the hunt was a very rare Dyer canister sabot. Not sure about the details, he contacted noted author and CW artillery expert, Pete George for help with identification. Mr. George responded with the following:
I should begin by stating that Dyer's Canister is quite a rare version of canister. Jine, on a strict "number of specimens known" scale of rarity, your 3" Dyer Canister sabot was one of the very rarest items found at the DIV hunt ...even more rare than some of the Confederate buttons and buckles found at that hunt. The "Field-recovered" evidence indicates Dyer Canister ammo was used almost only by the Army of the Potomac, and only in the first 24 months following the Battle of Manassas (July 1861). The overwhelming majority of fired Dyer Canister sabots and slugs have come from 1862-to-mid-1863 battle sites in Virginia. In my 34 years of living in Virginia and digging for artillery projectiles at many dozens of major and minor Virginia battlesites, I've found only one Dyer Canister sabot. It was at the May 1863 battle of Salem Church, which part of the Chancellorsville Campaign. That was also the only place I've dug any Dyer Canister "slugs." Apparently, Dyer Canister was gradually superceded by the arrival of Hotchkiss Canister, which first shows up in mid-1862 sites, and remained in widespread use through the end of the war. Regards, Pete
Congratulations Doug on a great recovery and on saving that very rare piece of history!