My time at DIV 52 & 53.

Memories to last a lifetime.

AUTHOR: Patrick Connors

This was my 4th and 5th div.
First it started at Coles Hill which was my first time there. You can literally feel the history walking around the property. Within the first hour I had dug my first coles hill relic, a wormed 3 ringer about a quarter up coles hill. Before long a few huts began to open. I wasn’t able to find my own yet but there’s still time and it will come one day . By lunch time day one it had reached nearly 80° which you could tell everyone was feeling. Something wasn’t quite right with me either so I decided to leave early at 14:30 to run to the dentist, and sure enough it was an infection.  But I wasn’t about to let that stop me I told them give me anti biotics and I will see you in a week!

Day two at Coles hill I took a long early walk around the entire property gaining over 10,000 step before lunch.  With not much yet for my relic box I decided to hit the firing range I had heard about. Well that did not disappoint at all and I dug 47 fired bullets just that afternoon.  More importantly though I met some new friends got to help some people with settings and even put a few people on some targets. And really got to learn my machine and what a bullet sounds like.

Day three at coles hill was great  I dug some more fired lead. And the chilli lunch was absolutely delicious.  I got to run into some old friends at lunch and even got to take a picture of some celebrities of digging.  I won’t forget the beautiful views of the mountains and watching the moon set over them each morning as we began to dig.

Now it was on to day 4 of digging  and one of my favorite places on the planet, Beauregard Farm. This place is magical and has not changed much at all since the Civil War. This was my second time to this property. First thing in the morning  I met my riders Jim and Lisa black at the commuter lot.   We packed up my truck and were so excited we just could not wait to get over to the meeting. We weren’t 1st but I think we were 2nd lol. After the morning meeting we proceeded to an area that Jim knew we could dig some 69 calibers he ended up getting on one not long after.  The 3 of us ended up getting on a few targets before lunch. Then we decided to hit a spot my buddy Joe and I had found at DIV 50 (He couldn’t attend this hunt due to a shoulder injury but he was here with me in spirit at every hole I dug).  I was so happy to find there was still a few dropped ringtail sharps there at about 12″ deep.  We all got on a few fired bullets up there as well before calling the 1st day to an end. Day 2 it rained all morning but that didn’t stop me at all from getting out, I dug a 1960 D silver quarter  About a 1000′ from the commuter lot.  By lunch I had done a huge circle in front of the Beauregard house and made it back to my truck to eat lunch.  Still raining at that point I decided to grab my GPX wrap it up and take a long walk up the road and down on to map 2,  As we all know when actively raining some of those farm roads just don’t have a bottom and I didn’t want my truck to get stuck.  Well the long walk is just what I needed, by the time I got to where I wanted to turn my machine on the rain had stopped and the sun had started to peak out.  1st signal was a fired 69 caliber and I knew it was on. I found 14 more fired bullets and my 1st chunk of artillery shell I have ever found. I was wet and super sore but ready for day 6.

By the time day 6 started out I had heard the great news that because of the rain the landowner was letting us all Dig a 1/2 A-day Sunday which would give us a 6 and a 1/2 days total to dig.   Starting out day 6 I was there and ready to go at 7:30, I headed straight up to my spot where the ringtail sharps were and i got one more within the 1st 20 minutes. I spent the rest of the day going very slow and traveling around the entire property heading backup to the front field of dreams. I’ve been told it’s been called that by many people and now I refer to it as the same. This is the same field at DIV 50 where I found my 1st US Belt Buckle.   After lunch I dug a very large tent grommet and continued to find a few other fired and dropped bullets.

 And then at exactly 4 o’clock PM on what would have been the last day 6 of digging  It happened!  magic again in the field of dreams. I got down about 8″ for a sweet bullet signal on my GPX 4500 and What was looking back at me was a chunk of cracked looking lead covered in that beautiful red dirt.  Digging right near me was Ralph Magee. I ran right over to him to ask him if he thought what it might be?  He said something looks familiar about it but it could be pot metal And to take my toothbrush and clean out the inside. I took one swipe through and it almost took my breath away! I could swear I could see the head of an eagle but thought that might just be me wanting to see it after 6 days of exhaustion. Well I handed it back to Ralph and he immediately proclaimed it was exactly what I  thought it was, my first Eagle breastplate from the American Civil War.  Well  Needless to say I immediately got Goosebumps and tears came. I couldn’t believe what I was holding and I was the first person to hold it in so many years.   It had been taco’d pretty good from rolling around in the farm fields for so many years but it truly looks like the eagle is just slowly closing its wings.  This day I dug right up until 459 just in case there was still any luck left for me.

The morning of day 7 the Winter cold had finally moved and I spent the day wandering the same fields as the day before hoping for a few more relics for the Box and I was not disappointed with a couple more dropped bullets and 4 more fired ones. 

This was one of the best digging weeks I’ve ever had and can’t wait for the next one. The memories I made this week will stick with me forever and the new friendships I hope will last even longer.  I was so happy that I had lost the weight I wanted to before The Dig which helped me walk nearly 80000 steps during this dig and lose another 5 pounds. 

I want to take the time to thank John and Rose Kendrick for Creating DIV and allowing us to save history safely and on some of the most beautiful properties Virginia has to offer, I am truly grateful for the community I have become a part of.

I am so looking forward to the spring to do it all over again. I love you all and wish you the best till we are digging together again ❤️ 

Sincerely:  Patrick J Connors