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Indian Territory Treasure Hunters Club
Tulsa, Oklahoma

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Tale of a Bullet Mold & a Button

Several club members have asked about the Civil War bullet prize tokens that are used in our summer water outings. Below are photos of the mold that the bullet prize tokens were made.

The mold was found by my father back in the late 1970’s. The bullet mold was found in the area where after the Civil War Battle of Jenkins Ferry Arkansas the Union forces spent the night destroying most of the equipment and munitions in the train. The ITTHC had many outings to the area of the Battle of Jenkins Ferry. This was an area we found thousands of bullets of all varieties. The area at the time was owned by International Paper and as long as you did not damage the trees you could relic hunt to your heart’s content. After a $6 billion dollar loss in one year IP began selling off the property in huge chunks and a large part of the area is now posted by the owner.

The mold was one big ball of iron rust from the iron sprue cutter when found. The zinc lye method was used for cleaning and it still retained some of the patina. The mold is a bronze metal & the iron sprue cutter. Took it to the Memphis Relic Show in 1984 when a major bullet mold collector set up for show. He identified it as a variety of Gallagher carbine bullet. I told him it was too bad it was so damaged. He then told me it would mean more to him knowing that a Union soldier has damaged it while destroying equipment after the Battle of Jenkins Ferry to try and prevent Confederate forces from using it. He made a very good offer for the mold but my father did not sell items he recovered.

We initially molded the bullets to use for prize tokens in years past when the ITTHC had a planted Civil War relic hunt as part of the National Open Treasure Hunt. John Freeman and myself melted fired Civil War bullets for the lead. Each time a fired bullet was dropped in the molten lead and melted, the white lead oxide layer would float on the top still intact. We named these “Ghost Bullets”. Now you know the “Rest of the Story”.

Below is another item found by my brother Bill in the same general area as the bullet mold. An unusual item to be found at a Civil War site in Arkansas. It is a St. Timothy’s Hall uniform button, a fairly rare button. St. Timothy’s Hall was a military school in Catonsville, Maryland. One of the students at the school in 1852 & 1853 was John Wilkes Booth! Have tried to track down who might of attended St. Timothy’s Hall and been in the Battle of Jenkins Ferry. Have not been able to find a complete listing of students that attended prior to the Civil War. So no luck so far.

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