Civil War artifacts unearthed in Carter County

Civil war artifacts unearthed in Carter County
Civil war artifacts unearthed in Carter County(WSAZ)
Published: Sep. 18, 2022 at 7:30 PM EDT
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CARTER COUNTY, KY. (WSAZ) - Members of Kentucky Christian University and the Carter County Historical Society are conducting a small-scale archaeological excavation at a former plantation and civil war site.

Excavation Director and Associate Professor Dr. Gerald Dyson said they’ve moved several tons of material to find artifacts over the last few days.

“This is a lead-pewter-drawer pull,” he said. This would be something that a wealthy person would have in the mid-1800s. We know that people here had wealth.”

From nails to musket balls, Dyson said, they’ve found all sorts of different items, but to get to that point, they first had to dig a bunch of dirt, put it in this sifter and give it a big shake.

“We have like a little assembly line. Each person does a separate thing,” Kentucky Christian University Student Emma Ball said. “It makes it go a lot quicker that way.”

With two to three people per hole, students like Ball are helping unearth these artifacts.

A history major, she said there’s nothing quite like pulling a relic out of the ground.

“It feels like you’re holding a piece of the past in your hands,” Ball said.

Dyson said it’s not just about finding the relics but the story they tell.

Whether it be about the plantation, the civil war skirmish, or the people that lived here, he said learning about their past and Carter County’s past is imperative.

“Those people whose names we don’t know, we wish we knew them, but that history is important as well,” he said. To know more about what their lives were like and to try to uncover that and preserve that as best we can.”

Dyson said they were able to discover the site using old records and searching the area with a metal detector.