Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS

SUPPORT PROVIDED BY

Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • ON TV
  • ON TOUR
  • WATCH ONLINE
  • WEB EXCLUSIVES
  • RESOURCES
  • SHOP
  • The Roadshow Archive

    Civil War Battlefield Artifact, ca. 1865

    Appraised Value:

    $2,000 - $3,000

    Appraised on: June 18, 2011

    Appraised in: El Paso, Texas

    Appraised by: Rafael Eledge

    Category: Arms & Militaria

    Episode Info: El Paso, Hour 1 (#1610)

    Originally Aired: March 26, 2012

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 1  

    More Like This:

    Form: Artifact
    Material: Wood, Metal
    Period / Style: 19th Century, Civil War
    Value Range: $2,000 - $3,000

    Related Links:

    Understanding Our Appraisals
    Useful tips to keep in mind when watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW

    Comment

    Appraisal Video: (2:54)

    appraiser

    Appraised By:

    Rafael Eledge
    Arms & Militaria
    Owner
    Shiloh Civil War Relics

    Appraisal Transcript:
    GUEST: Well, I brought in a log that was purportedly cut from the limb of a tree that was on the Gettysburg battlefield.

    APPRAISER: When did you get it?

    GUEST: My father traded for it at a trading post in Carlsbad, New Mexico, around 1965.

    APPRAISER: What did he trade for it?

    GUEST: A Zenith transoceanic radio.

    APPRAISER: What was the radio worth at that time?

    GUEST: Probably about $50.

    APPRAISER: What we've got is something that brings home the magnitude of war. This is a tree from the battlefield, and each one of these pieces is shrapnel or a piece from a musket. And, as you look around, it hit it from almost every angle. And you think a skinny little tree like that was getting hit that much, there's no place to hide. It's spectacular. You have musket balls, and if you notice on this side, we have a piece of iron. That's a piece from a cannon projectile. That's an actual piece that blew apart and embedded in the tree.

    GUEST: Mm-hmm.

    APPRAISER: And what's wonderful about this, it was cut down years later. When did he say he thought it was cut down?

    GUEST: Between 1904 and 1907.

    APPRAISER: The tree was still alive, and the tree tries to heal itself. And if you notice, the knots, they can't push it out, so it grows around it.

    GUEST: How are you sure that this came from Gettysburg?

    APPRAISER: Unfortunately, we can't tell.

    GUEST: Okay.

    APPRAISER: Sometimes you'll see where they'll paint the name of the battle on the tree. But without it, you have to do a verbal history.

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER: And it will always be attributed to, not identified to.

    GUEST: I see. So even though we can't be sure it came from Gettysburg, we can be sure that it was around that time period.

    APPRAISER: Because of what shot into it.

    GUEST: Right.

    APPRAISER: Because they're still using the lead balls, we have the iron from the shell, and if you notice, it's a thin shell. It's probably out of a round projectile, and that size is more than likely a thin-walled six-pound cannonball.

    GUEST: Mm-hmm.

    APPRAISER: It's a great piece of history. Have you ever had it appraised?

    GUEST: Uh, I have not. My father said a few years ago a gentleman mentioned to him he thought that the value was about $800, but that was a number of years ago.

    APPRAISER: It's all in the eye of the beholder, because a lot of people look at it and they say, "That's just an old hunk of wood." It's not an old hunk of wood. It's a piece of American history. And this piece of American history would retail today between $2,000 and $3,000.

    GUEST: Wow. Awesome.

    APPRAISER: You'll see the small size pieces, just the little small ones that'll have one bullet in them, and they'll bring $50 to $100.

    GUEST: Mm-hmm.

    APPRAISER: This one, because you have so many projectiles striking such a small space, that's one of the reasons this gets up to that kind of value.

    GUEST: I see.

    APPRAISER: It got my heart beating when I saw it. (laughs)





    WGBH This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 WGBH Educational Foundation.
    ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
    WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
    PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

    ROADSHOW on Facebook ROADSHOW Tweets ROADSHOW on YouTube