Giving back, my idea of what to do with lost history once it's found...

When people find out that I like to metal detect, by far the most common question is "What's the best thing you've ever found?" The second question is "What do you do with the stuff you find?" I tell them I give a lot of it away...

I have found so many of the same objects its not funny. I have thousands of Civil War bullets of various types. Buttons and more buttons. Civil War Artillery pieces coming out of my ears. I do keep some stuff but you can only have so much. I did have a store on this site at one time but never sold anything. I wasn't sure how I felt about selling it either...

I offer the gracious land owners any and all finds that let me search their property, some are not interested enough to want the artifacts, most see how excited I am and ask that I keep them. I have put together shadow boxes of relics and giving them to the land owners many times. 

My favorite thing to do with the artifacts I find is to give them to young people in an effort to get them excited about our history. Late last year, I sent off a package to a school teacher in Florida. We are friends on Facebook via a few artifact FB pages. She sent back some photos of the kids with the relics and it looked like...well I think the photos speak for themselves. 

I think as metal detectorist, treasure hunters, amatuer archaeologist or what every we call our selves, finding lost history is only part of it, we need to share what was lost and now is found. For me, kids being able to actually touch an artifact related to what they are studying is priceless.

JC Johnson


Civil War Preservation Project of Ohio (CWPPO)

On October 7th-9th, 2016 the CWPPO will be holding an event in Morgan County, Ohio to help recover relics related to Civil War activities in that area. If you would like to participate in this event or order a T-shirt and window sticker to support us, please register by filling out the form below.

This event is partially funded by the registration fees collected by the CWPPO from people who want to help recover relics. You must be registered to be permitted on the property where the relic recovery effort will take place.

I'll be attending this year and maybe doing some diving on the Muskingum River. Full report to come...

Full website here


Fire in my soul...

"Down thru the years we wander, till twilight shadows fall, tis then we open our treasure chest, and reminiscing go."  

October 18, 1934  Captain R.W. Weiss


         R.W. Weiss and Marion his wife

I would have loved to meet the man R.W. Weiss. That poem strikes a fire in my soul every time I read it. Captain Weiss was born in Kronach, Germany  on Oct 18, 1889. Weiss arrived in America in 1914 and quickly started a family and made a name for himself. As the manager for the Alcoa Steamship Co in Hampton Roads area, Weiss served three US Presidents, (Eisenhower, Truman, Roosevelt) as well as the countries of Germany, Mexico, Haiti and Panama as honorary consular.  R.W. Weiss was my great grandfather. He died November of 1966, just eight months before I was born.

I was born in Texas, my father W.J. Weiss was in the US Army and stationed at Fort Hood. Later, my mother married again, and my last name changed to Johnson. In fact, I did not know I was a Weiss until the age of thirteen. 

Having done (and continue to do) research on my ancestors, I have found on my fathers side (Weiss) our history here in the US is some what short (beginning in 1914). I hired a genealogist in Germany without much success. Perhaps, a trip to Germany myself is in order to continue the search. My mothers side (Braswell) has a long history here in the US dating back to the early 1700's. The Braswell family is full of patriots from the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Indian Wars and the Civil War.

Word has it that my great grand father did some exploring around the coast of Africa before coming to America. My grand father went to Virginia Military Institute and the word is that R.W. Weiss donated several items to the museum at VMI. One being a cane made from the vertebrae of a Tiger shark (from Africa). Another one being some type of sword found in the Chesapeake Bay while dredging. I need to get up to VMI and nail down these stories, true or false. It's just up the road an hour or so...

I do have an item that came from my great grand fathers collection. An 1860 Colt .44 pistol black powder conversion. My father gave it to me and I will pass it along to one of my son's.

Read the update here...

Good luck and HH




Choctaw Nation discover Civil War Veterans...

Gravesites of vets discovered in King Cemetery near Kinta.

DURANT, Okla. – Choctaw Nation Historic Preservation employees worked for two months to prepare for the May 24 ceremony honoring two full-blood Choctaw Civil War Confederate soldiers at their discovered grave sites in King Cemetery near Kinta, Oklahoma.

“I was doing family research and discovered the cemetery,” Karrie Shannon, Choctaw Nation employee in McAlester, said. “In November, I made a trip to Kinta, Oklahoma to locate the King Cemetery. I found the cemetery unmaintained and abandoned. No one might have entered there for 121 years, it was so thick you had a hard time making your way through the area.”

Private Henry Cooper and 2nd Lieutenant Jerry Riddle received military government issued headstones and were honored during the cemetery dedication in May. Both were descendents of Chief Mosholatubbee, who had seven sons with the surname King and one daughter surnamed Cooper.

Skyler Robinson, Cemetery Restoration Coordinator with Historic Preservation, said his crew works to preserve and protect abandoned Choctaw cemeteries like King Cemetery. “It was in really bad shape, thick with briars and bushes,” Robinson said. “We went in and cleaned it up, put a new fence around it with a gate, and then placed a couple of headstones.”

See the full store here...

Great Seal

Great Seal

I find things like the above article so fascinating, partly because it's history that I personally did not know. Secondly, it opens a whole new area of study concerning the Civil War.

The Choctaw People were a farming nation located in the Southeast part of the country and were one of the first to walk the "Trail of Tears." In 1830, the nation was forced into Southeastern Oklahoma. The Choctaw Nation signed a treaty with the Confederacy in 1861. This treaty is truly some thing to read.

Confederate Choctaw Unit: 1st Regiment, Choctaw Mounted Rifles formed in 1862, surrendered in 1865. In all there were over 28,000 Native Americans serving in the Civil War. The Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, Cherokee and Catawba fought exclusively for the Confederacy.

The state of Oklahoma’s name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma meaning Red People.

While studying how the Native Americans played a role in the Civil War, the most surprising discovery thus far has been that; Union General Ely S. Parker, of the Seneca tribe, was the military secretary for Ulysses S. Grant and a lawyer.  He wrote the articles of surrender signed by Robert E. Lee.

More to come on this subject...

Good luck and HH


Websites: Choctaw Nation FamilySearch