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Manassas Battlefield
Excavation

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SWORD
How It All Began
What’s the difference between a Northern fairy tale and a Southern fairy tale?

A Northern fairy tale begins, “Once upon a time…”

A Southern fairy tale begins’ “Y’all ain’t gonna believe this sh*t…”

"This joke sums up my feelings the night (Monday, May 4th, 1998 - 9:30 PM) I received a telephone call from archeologist Dr. Matt Reeves, asking about the possibility of our members (NVRHA) helping to do a site survey at the Stonehouse, Manassas National Battlefield Park.

The first thing I thought was," YEAH right, dig on Manassas Battlefield, this guy has to be nuts". But after listening to him for awhile, he finally dropped a key name, William Leigh (archeologist). I thought to myself, "hey, this guy is on the level", and asked him to start all over again. (Sorry for doubting you Matt, and thanks for an experience of a lifetime.)

The moment I hung up the phone, I told my wife, ”You're not gonna believe this sh*t.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the club members that par- ticipated in the site survey/dig. The FIVE HUNDRED (500) PLUS HOURS you have put in is greatly appreciated by Dr. Matt Reeves, and I thank you all for a job well done.

Who would have thought that our club would start off 1997 (our 25th anniversary year) by participating with Dr. Doug Owsley, Forensic Anthropologist, with the Smithsonian Institution in an excavation of six (6) Civil War soldiers’ bodies found by a club member in Centreville, Virginia. Along comes November, and we are asked to help in the site survey/dig at Opequan Church in Kernstown, Virginia (First Kernstown Battlefield). In May, June and July of 1998, we helped at the Stone House and Matthew's Hill. As President, I can only say "WOW, what a great two years this has been."

What’s next, only time will tell, but as members of the Northern Virginia Relic Hunters Association, we are experienced, ready, willing and able to work along side the archaeologists.

My only hope is that someone will translate this document into hieroglyphic so the Archeological Society of Virginia can read it, and maybe get its head out of the sand. (Ref. Newsletter – Archeological Society of Virginia - No.145 - April 1998 – Art. From The Office Of The President by John H. Sprinkle, Jr.)

Don K. London
Former NVRHA President
The Letter - Page 2