The Civil War artifact that won an Ohio man first place in a competition for relic hunters turns out to be an upstate New York soldier’s identification tag.
The Times Union of Albany reports that Jeffrey Rees of Bath, Ohio, won Best Overall Find at the Grand National Relic Shootout held last month near Richmond, Va.
Using a metal detector, Rees found a sterling silver ID tag that bore the name of Pvt. John Bradt of Rensselaerville, a rural town 20 miles southwest of Albany. Rees says he found the tag at the site where Bradt’s New York unit camped in 1864.
Bradt survived the war and died in 1901.
During the Civil War, soldiers made their own ID tags. The U.S. military didn’t begin issuing dog tags until the First World War.