Thursday, January 17, 2013

1/17/13 Report - More on the CSS Alabama, Books & Vero Coin Show

Written by the TreasureGuide for the exclusive use of

Alabama and Kearsarge
Photo From US Naval History Center
2013 is marching right along at a peppy pace and the first month is more than half gone.

I want to follow up on yesterday's post in which I posted a link to a site showing a 3-D image of the wreck of the USS Hatteras in the Gulf of Mexico and then followed up with information on a book about the CSS Alabama, which sunk the Hatteras.

Yesterday I also showed an old book about the Alabama.  The Alabama was eventually sunk by the USS Kearsarge, which interestingly was draped in chain armor to protect the hull.

According to the account provided by Lieutenant Sinclair in the above mentioned book, the lock box of the Alabama was filled with official valuables as well as any valuables of the crew and sent to shore before the battle took place.  In this case the box was undoubtedly safely kept at port, but in other cases I would imagine that similar boxes might indeed have been buried on some deserted shore.

One interesting thing about this battle is that a private yacht followed the Alabama and Kearsarge to watch the battle.  Battle, it appears, was often treated like a spectator sport during the Civil War period.  The same private yacht also saved many of the crew of the sinking Alabama.  Maybe that is another reason they followed the battle.  In that case, a more noble objective.

Once again, I highly recommend the book Two Years on the Alabama by Sinclair.  There are not many accounts of life on board a Civil War vessel given from the perspective of a crew member.

Not only are old books good sources for research, but they can have some value too.  Keep your eyes open for valuable books at thrift stores where you might be able to find some real bargains.  It helps to know what to look for.

Books can be valuable if they are first editions of books by famous authors.  It is not always easy to identify a first edition book.  Different companies use different methods to indicate a true first edition.   However, if you look at the copyright page and the title page and the copyright year is the same as the year of the printing, that could be a first edition.

For fiction books, the book probably won't be valuable unless it is a first edition by a famous or highly collected author.  If the book was one of the author's early works, is in great condition, has a dust jacket, or is signed by the author or some other famous person, there is some chance it might have some value.

For non-fiction books to have value, most will be 19th century or earlier.  There are however some later books that might have value for one reason or another.

Collecting or investing in rare books can be interesting and even profitable if you really know what you are doing.

I simply like old books, especially non-fiction.

Also check in old books to see if there might be old letters, cards, photos or even money hidden.

As you know, the ocean has been calm this winter leading to poor beach detecting conditions.  There is always someplace to hunt and something to be found though.  While the weather has been good for detecting the beaches of the Treasure Coast, the unusually calm seas have made it possible for salvors to be at work during a time of the year when it is usually too rough.   Two ships are now out and working on the site of the Atocha -  in mid-January.

I noticed that the tide in the river was out pretty far yesterday morning.  That has been rare lately.

I've done a few posts mentioning Indian mounds recently.  One reader mentioned that he found a couple silver Spanish coins near one of the well known local mounds.  You might eventually read more about that in a future book.

One thing I really enjoy about doing this blog is all of the fine people that I hear from.  Some have become good friends even though we've never personally met.

The Treasure Coast Coin Club will be holding their  49th annual coin show at the community center at 2266 14th Avenue Vero Beach, FL. 10am-5pm Sat. & 10am-3pm on Sun., January 19-20.

Sedwick Coins will be at the coin show if you want to consign items for the upcoming May auction.

The surf this morning near low tide along the Treasure Coast was only about a foot or two.  The beach fronts that I saw are still accumulating sand.  Also, there were shell lines.  It seemed there were places where small metal items were being washed onto the beach from the small dip in front of the beach.   Modern coins and miscellaneous targets were found between the shell line and the water.   There were enough targets to keep it interesting.  

Happy hunting,