A Community for Abraham Lincoln & American History — For Collectors, By Collectors. More About Us.

Rail Splinters

Searching for Confederate Gold: A Lost Cause

May 12, 2023

We periodically hear reports about “lost Confederate gold” and the efforts to discover its hidden location and unearth it. People spend a lot of time, effort and money to strike it rich. Are these folks “spinning their wheels?” If a letter recently sold on eBay for $433 is any indication, the answer is an emphatic yes! The 4-pg. letter was written from Savannah, Georgia on May 18, 1865 by Union soldier Henry Calvin Day (1830-1912). Day served in Company D, 14th Regiment New Hampshire Infantry. Besides his duty as a soldier, Day wrote some poems which were submitted to the local Savannah newspaper and actually published. We print an excerpt of his letter dealing with Confederate gold. 

Friday eve, May 19th

This morning I saw the packages containing the gold and silver that Jeff [Davis] stole which was captured with him. It was sent from Augusta here and will be sent to Washington of course. It took three government wagons with four mules attached to each one to haul it from the wharf up street to the Provost Marshal’s. Jeff himself passed right under my window on his way down river, bound for Washington last Sunday morning. I suppose he is going to form a junction with Booth and then make an advance on Washington. Perhaps they will take it.