The Confederate Gold. With maturity, I have concluded that in all probability there was no Confederate gold. What little gold Jeff Davis and staff had left, by the time they started their southwest flight from Richmond and down through Georgia (where he was captured), had probably long since been converted to gun powder, bandages, coffee, uniforms and the like.
Still, the probability of ‘no Confederate gold’ has not kept me from looking for it all these many years. True, I used to spend more time (I had more to spend) looking than I do now, but I still sweep the vista and wonder and take an occasional physical look – especially if I see a promising place like a large rock on the side of a small hill (it could be behind the rock, you know) or a cave like the one in south Houston County that legend has it was used by the Indians and went all the way to Montezuma in Macon County.
I didn’t go very far into the Houston cave (rattlesnakes, spiders, cave-ins and that kind of thing). Still, come to think about it, like William Rawlings wrote in his novel, The Rutherford Cipher, where it was discovered that the Confederate gold was inside the confines of the Savannah River Site property, a place full of snakes and spiders might be a good place for the gold if you didn’t want other folks (Yankees or those with legitimate claims) to get it.
So, I’ll just keep on looking. It could be that the gold is right around here. Bobby Tuggle believes that there is an old Spanish fort site in Houston County. If the Spanish could make it to here, and build a fort, the Confederates should have been able to find us, too, and place the gold where I could find it 150 years after it was hidden.
I look for may pops. Or, is it May pops? And, why are they maypops (a third and correct version) when they don’t come forth until around July? Shouldn’t they be July pops or does maypop mean that if you step on one it may pop?
I like to look for maypops. I used to like to make little pigs and other animals out of them. And, I like to throw them at fellow lookers. I also like to step on them and make them pop. I even tried to eat a maypop once – and only once.
We used to go up under Papa and Grandma’s house (it was on stone and brick foundation about three feet above the ground) to look for doodlebugs. We would see these little round indentions in the cool sand, about the size of a dime, and we’d take a little stick and go around and around in the indentions saying, “doodlebug, doodlebug your house is on fire.” And, they’d come out! I think our little chant or song is what did it!
Thinking of my doodlebug successes, I am reminded of going up under the barns, at Grandma’s requests, looking for hens’ nests. Let me say that I had pretty good luck. I’d report back, “Grandma, there’s a nest under the middle barn with twelve eggs in it!” Grandma was happy with my good works because she knew that shortly (how long I didn’t or don’t know), she would have twelve new chicks (we called ’em biddies) to add to her flock.
I should digress and add here that, although Grandma was afraid of snakes, and often reminded me about them (“Lally boy, be careful of snakes”), she had no hesitancy in sending me up under the barns looking for setting hens.
Janice and I like to go to antique shops and junk shops looking for treasures. It hasn’t happened yet, but one day we are going to find a Tiffany lamp for $125.00 or an original Grandma Moses’ painting for $75.00. We might even find the map to where the Confederate gold is hidden inside an old purchased book or behind the painting inside the frame of the Grandma Moses’ painting.
When I was young, I mean really younger than I am now, I was always looking for “arrowheads” which, I now understand are spear heads, although you do, occasionally, find a smaller arrowhead. I never found one (kinda’ like the Confederate gold). You know why? Where I was looking, there weren’t any. Today, I know where the Indians were and, consequently, I frequently find nice artifacts.
So, there you have it: the Confederate gold, maypops, doodlebugs, hen eggs, antique treasures and Indian artifacts. Well, I still haven’t found the Confederate gold, but come to think about it, I have been enriched by all my other lookings and findings. And, I’m still holding out hope that one day I might discover old Jeff Davis’ hiding place for the Confederate riches.
What will I do when I find the gold? Will the federal government try to take it? Will I have to pay taxes on it? Will my life be changed? Lots of problems. Maybe I ought to stick to maypops and looking for that Tiffany lamp.