I relic hunted on a battlefield on private property here in the Shenandoah Valley last Friday and had a great day. I recovered 40 Civil War bullets/musket balls and 2 shell fragments. All but 3 or 4 of the Minie balls were recovered on a hillside. As the battle was raging, the Confederate line broke and many of the Confederates tried to escape by running up the hill. As they did, the Union infantry poured lead into their backs. The bullets pictured here either missed or passed through Confederate soldiers and lodged in the ground. Most of them were 4-8 inches deep.
What's interesting about finding the bullets where I did is the fact I've been able to determine, with great accuracy, the exact path/route the Confederate soldiers took in their attempt to flee. Moreover, it's in a different location than what one history of this battle describes. The author was off by several hundred yards. Though this historian wrote an excellent study of this battle, my experience illustrates how amateurs can shed light on history through their own independent research and study. I personally know another relic hunter who made a similar discovery at the Battle of Port Republic.
I was in the field from 8:30 am until dark. It was an exhausting day but I had a great time. I recorded quite a bit of video as well which I'll put together over Thanksgiving and post.