The History of the Cedar Fork Rifles
The Earth's Secret
When the Cedar Fork Rifles went into their winter quarters near Dumfries, Virginia, they still carried much of their original clothing, weapons, and equipment. "Camp Hill" was the first name of this area which the men of the 6th camped but in December it was renamed, "Camp Fisher" in honor of their slain leader.
One of the best records we have of the camp comes from amateur relic hunters. Fortunatly, Howard Crouch wrote about finding this "City in the Wilderness" so called by veterans after the war. Crouch rediscovered this area in 1970.
He reported finding, "Low stone piles some three or four feet high marked the long-cooled chimneys of the adjacent sunken hut sites." It was an area on a plateau covering an area roughly 300 yards wide and 500 yards long flanked by two springs and ending in a slope toward Powells Creek.
Munitions found amoung the once busy came were common. Couch notes that .69 cal round balls and over 500 of the Italian imported, and poorly made, .71cal. Carcano bullets were recovered. In the way of distinctive buttons found were Hillsboro Military Buttons, North Carolina Military Institute Buttons, a large number of US Ordnance Buttons were found. Couch remarks that a particularly common flower button was found which resembled the later pattern North Carolina sunburst button and was most likely purchased by Fisher from civilian stores.
Kettles, pots, and pans were left in the chimneys and firepits only to be found in the same place, untouched, 110 years later. But the main draw for Couch and others was the prized distinctive belt buckle of the 6th which was poorly made. Over 30 of these buckles were recovered from the sites.
Map from Relic Hunter by Howard R. Crouch. Map drawn by Brian McDonald.
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