Civil War Gold And
Other Lost Treasures

From Charleston Voice

This treasure section excerpted from "Civil War Gold & Other Lost Treasures" by W. Craig Gaines. The really big lost treasure is that of the Confederate Treasury in custody of Jeff Davis upon leaving Richmond, fleeing the Yankee hordes. Portions of it are believed to be in Greene & Morgan Counties of Georgia. The combined hoard is believed to be between $500,000 and $600,000 in gold, the combined values of the Richmond Bank & Confederate Treasury. Most made it to Washington, Georgia, but an untold amount remains unaccounted for.
South Carolina
Lost Confederate Payroll
A legend said that a Confederate payroll was lost when a train derailed in a swamp near Rivers Bridge State Park.1
Lost Union Payroll
A $100,000 to $200,000 Union payroll in gold was rumored to have seen captured from Union forces by Confederates. The payroll was buried near the Santee River close to St. Stephen before the Confederates were captured and shot.2
Confederate Treasure
On the Congaree River, nearly two miles north of Sandy Run, Confederate supply boats were said to have been ambushed on December
12, 1864. One boat with $125,000 in gold coins and ingots was overturned and lost its contents in the water. (There is no evidence of this in the "Official Records.")3
The Georgiana's Treasure
The Georgiana was a 580-ton brig rigged steamer built in Glasgow, otland as the Louisiana in 1862. She was 205.6 feet long, had a 25.2-foot beam, 14.9-foot depth, 14-foot draft. In 1863, she ran the blockade into Charleston with 140 crewmen and a cargo of merchandise, 18 cannons, 10,000 Enfield rifles, swords, military supplies, and $90,000 in gold. The Georgiana was to be converted in Charleston into a Confederate warship with 16 cannons. Its British captain, A. B. Davidson, flashed a
flag in Maffitt's Channel when the Georgiana encountered the USS America and USS Wissahickon in the early morning hours of March 19 1863. The Georgiana sped for shore at full speed and ran aground. All the crew and passengers fled ashore. The Georgiana's gold was probably removed by the crew.
Union troops boarded the Georgiana, removed some cargo, and torched her when they could not refloat the vessel. The wreck of the Georgiana later sank the blockade runners Norseman, Mary Bowers, and Constance Decimer when these blockade runners ran into the Georgiana's submerged hull. The Georgiana underwent salvage in the 1870s. More recently archeologists and treasure hunters have been recovering artifacts at the site, but they have found no gold.4
The Constance Decimer's Treasure
The Constance Decimer was a British 140-ton sidewheel steam blockade runner. The vessel was 201.4 feet long with a 20.15-foot beam, 9.4-foot depth, 6-foot draft, with 29 crewmen. It steamed from Nova Scotia, Canada with a cargo of guns and possibly some gold to trade for cotton at Charleston. On October 6, 1864 the Constance Decimer ran onto the wreck of the Georgiana and sank in 15 to 35 feet of water. This wreck has been located and probably contains no treasure.5
The Norseman's Treasure
The Norseman was a British three-masted 49- or 197-ton screw blockade runner steamer that carried a cargo of cotton and possibly gold when it exited Charleston Harbor and hit the wreck of the Georgiana on May 19, 1863. It sank in 8 to 12 feet of water in Maffitt's Channel off Long Island (now called Isle of Pines) near 39th street. Any gold aboard would have been salvaged due to its shallow depth.6
The York Castle's Treasure
The York Castle was reported to be a blockade runner with a cargo of 1,000 Enfield rifles and
$300,000 in gold. It was said to have been sunk by Union forces in Long Bay. (This appears to be a mythical wreck. Searching the "Official Records" failed to bring up a mention of this wreck as did research in many other sources.)7
Hampton Plantation Treasure
Near McClellanville, northeast of Charleston, is Hampton Plantation which was built about 1735. George Washington once ate breakfast there, a signer of the Declaration of Independence lived there, Audubon painted birds there, and in 1843, Edgar Allen Poe wrote "The Gold Bug" there.
Dr. Archibald Rutledge, a writer and poet who lived from 1883-1973, also resided at Hampton Plantation. A ghost was said to have been heard in the Hampton Plantation by the Rutledge Family for years, giving rise to speculation about some mystery at the plantation. Dr. Rutledge was investigating a passageway from the ballroom to the living room when he found a secret sealed closet from the cellar. Dr. Rutledge and a helper sawed into the closet from the cellar. In the closet he discovered a small box with a folded house plan containing an X marked about 35 feet angling from the house with a chest drawn on it.
Going outside Dr. Rutledge found that the location marked on the map with an X was near an old oak tree. Using a steel rod he probed around the tree until it hit something solid. Digging down four feet Dr. Rutledge discovered a sealed crock. Inside the crock was an 1861 copy of the Charleston Mercury newspaper reporting the firing on Ft. Sumter and other newspapers wrapping up 198 gold coins. The Rutledge family had a legend about his grandfather hiding money from Union soldiers during the Civil War.8
The Lotus' Treasure
The Union schooner Lotus of Boston, Massachusetts was carrying a cargo of sutler's stores and a shipment by Adams Express Company from New York City for Port Royal, South Carolina, when it ran ashore on the night of January 15,1865 at North Shore Beach near Winyah Bay.
Wagon Train Treasure
A Confederate wagon train carrying six tons of silver from Arizona Was said to have been ambushed by Union troops near Saluca. The silver was thrown into the Saluca River to prevent its capture. The treasure was hidden about 10 miles northeast of Greenwood.10
Fort Randall Treasures
Several Civil War treasures were supposed to be located near Fort Randall and the Little River, north of Myrtle Beach.11
Walnut Grove Treasure
Walnut Grove Plantation was built in 1756 near the Tyger River. In 1864, General Sherman's Union Army marched through South Carolina and Walnut Grove's owners, according to legend, buried their silverware and money on the plantation. One version of the story said the treasure was cached in an unused well, which was then filled with dirt. Two family members were killed in the Civil War and the surviving family members were said to never have located the treasure.12



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