Undiscovered Treasures

Undiscovered Treasures

Lost Hidden Hoards

Unfortunately over the centuries, these hidden treasure stories can take on a life of their own, with little documented evidence or proof of their existence, but also many have left hints of history behind. History leaves clues, and those that follow these history hints may discover true treasure… whether from the enjoyment of the chase, to the actual realization of a historical find.

Here is a look at some of hidden treasures from Colonial America, to the Civil War… You be the judge as to being fact, fiction, or a little of both.

Rogers’ Rangers Silver

In Colonial America, Rogers’ Rangers were a band of scouts and mercenaries founded by Robert Rogers, who served as a scout during the Indian conflicts, and had extensive wilderness skills. Rodgers was inducted into General George Washington’s Army as a Captain in 1756, and promoted to Major by 1758. His Rogers’ Rangers were considered the “Elite Fighters” of the day.

In 1759, Rogers’ Rangers were ordered to attack an Indian Village called St. Francis. Within 20 minutes, over 200 were dead, the village set ablaze, and the church was sacked of extraordinary riches, including a large silver Madonna statue standing over 2 feet tall. Armed mounted French troops accompanied by a hundred angry Indians, tracked the Rangers down, and killed off most of Rodgers Rangers, except the last few Rangers who escaped carrying the silver Madonna. They made their way into the mountains, and hid in a cave over the Israel River. Starving and dying, one Ranger went mad, and threw the Madonna over the cliff into the deep river, thinking it was the cause of their plight.

The surviving ranger made it back to a small settlement to tell his story before he died. The settlers searched the area, found the cave, searched the river below, but never found the silver Madonna in the deep waters where it remains today, waiting to be discovered.

The British Paymaster who was responsible for a payroll of $25K in 1755, put the payroll on four fast horses, with six mounted soldiers, and sent them back to Fort Cumberland quickly, in hope of saving the British payroll. The six men quickly became only four men by attacks and ambushes by the French, then down to only two men in charge of the bags of gold coins. Still being chased, they found a larger bolder in the river as a landmark, and located a small cave to hide and camouflage the payroll.

The remaining two guards, free of the gold, continued to the Fort to get help to retrieve the British Payroll. But they were attacked by Indians, one was killed, and the other wounded, who was now on the run through the forest. The lone wounded survivor lived off roots and berries for ten days, until he was picked up on a British Military road. After he recovered from his injuries, he led a platoon back to the cave, but he got confused, and couldn’t find it. After several attempts to locate the valuable payroll, the British gave up. Over the years there were many clues found, but many more treasure hunters were disappointed by the elusive treasure.

General Edward Braddock’s lost payroll has intrigued researchers for over two centuries. Yet it still awaits discovery over 250 years later, about 20 miles east of Cumberland, Maryland, just off an old Military road, up in the hills above a small stream, tucked away in a small rock cave.

It’s been said that the Tories took the wagons to the east bank of the East Fork of Salmon Brook, and buried the chests close to a stream. They drove the wagon back a different route, and left them outside of East Granby, in a farmer’s field, and then they returned to their homes, to wait for the Continental Army to stop their search. Six weeks later, the Tories met secretly in the forest outside of town, but were attacked and killed by a band of Indians, except for one, Henry Wooster, who escaped. Wooster was now the only one alive who knew of the buried treasure, but before he could plan the recovery of the gold, he was arrested for stealing a cow, and sent to prison, where after 6 months he escaped, and stowed-away on a freighter bound for England.

Years later, Wooster wrote his Mother back in East Granby and confessed to the robbery in detail, but never revealed the location of the gold, and died with the secret of its location. Over the years several gold coins were discover in the river bed, but the rest of the gold coins await a lucky future discovery.

A bag a gold coins and jewelry, was buried by a trusted solider for Gore until after the battle. The trusted soldier was killed in the battle, and the rest of the remaining troops were relocated. Gore was left to hold the fort for the next 4 years, when in poor health he confided in a friend. Gore died from Typhoid fever, and the friend he told searched for years, and never found it.

Confederate Treasury

The Confederate Treasury was mostly depleted by the end of the war, but still had money left. There was a significant store of gold and silver coins in storage in Richmond Virginia. Fearful that Union forces would seize the treasure, it was ordered moved south to a safe location. President Jefferson Davis assigned Captain William H. Parker the responsibility to move the coins. Parker left Richmond with a million dollars in coins locked in a secure boxcar to Charlotte, NC. With reports of Union forces close by, Parker had the coins repacked in barrels and coffee sacks. The barrels and sacks, traveled by wagon where the rail was out, and then back on a train again. Parker headed for Augusta, looking for officers to pass the treasure off on to, without success. He headed south, and happened to run into Jefferson Davis, who relieved him of his duty.

The Confederate funds were appointed to General Basil Duke, who loaded it on to wagons again. After several close encounters with the Yankees, Duke made it to Washington, GA. An inventory showed only $288,022 left, which was then confiscated by two Bank Officials. The Bank Officials were robbed on their way back north, and the outlaws hid the treasure. The outlaws were finally killed, and their last words were about the treasure location. The Posse searched, but never located the coins near the south bank of the Savannah River.