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Anyone near Tasso, Tennessee? I read this story and thought it was really interesting...........
Posted by: therick
Date: September 02, 2011 03:35PM
Tasso, Tennessee, might be the site of long buried Confederate gold. The reason it is still there after all these years is that it is buried as much as six feet under the ground.
Tasso is located just outside the western boundary of the Cherokee National Forest and about five miles northeast of the town of Cleveland in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains.
Scattered across an agricultural field next to the railroad tracks just south of Tasso may lie an incredible fortune in gold and silver coins, as well as dozens, if not hundreds, of Civil War relics. This long-buried treasure is the bizarre result of a great explosion that disabled a Confederate train during a battle.
The Cherokee Indians who originally settled this region called their small community Chatata, which means clear water. When the Indians were removed during the early 1830s, the white settlers retained the name Chatata and the region soon became a productive agricultural center for southeastern Tennessee.
Around 1858, railroad tracks were laid through the area, connecting Chatata with the larger towns of Cleveland and Chattanooga to the southwest and Knoxville to the northeast. In spite of the Civil War, Chatata residents went busily about the business of planting, tending and harvesting their corn and other crops, and making an attempt to live as normally as possible under the extreme circumstances.
They observed hundreds of soldiers, both Union and Confederate, pass through and around their small town, but, for the most part, the small community was spared the misery endured by so many other settlements. The forces of both armies availed themselves of the nearby railroad tracks and it was not uncommon for Chatata residents to witness the passage of a Yankee troop train in the morning and a Rebel one in the afternoon.
During the spring of 1864, Company C of the Confederate Army of Tennessee was encamped at Chatata. The company had been ordered to scout the area and determine the strength of any Union forces they might encounter. If practical, they were to attack, kill or capture any Yankees they found.
One morning, the commanding officer of Company C, a young captain, received intelligence that a Union troop train was approaching from the southwest. The train was allegedly carrying 200 soldiers, a supply of guns and ammunition, and three cannons. The officer decided to make an attempt to disable the train and secure the weapons.
It was also learned that the Union train was being pursued by a Confederate train. The Rebel train consisted of a locomotive and five cars. Most of the cars transported men and horses, but one of them, the one behind the locomotive, contained a large payroll in gold and silver coins, which was being delivered to a confederate encampment about 10 miles up the line at Charleston. The payroll car also contained a supply of guns, ammunition, sabers and other military equipment.
The two trains were close enough that gunfire was frequently exchanged between the armies and at least one Yankee was killed. Issac Griffith, a private, was summoned by his commanding officer and ordered to set an explosive charge on the tracks such that it would detonate when the Union train passed over. Once the train was disabled, the mounted Rebels were to swoop down on the scene and kill or capture any of the surviving Yankees.
In order to spare the town of Chatata any damage, Griffith was told to set the charge several hundred yards to the south of the community. Pressed for time, Griffith hurriedly attached the explosives to the railroad bed at the designated point. Once he was satisfied with the placement of the charge, Griffith leaped onto his mount and joined his fellow troops who were gathered on a nearby low hill awaiting the arrival of the train.
Moments later, the mounted soldiers could hear the sound of the approaching trains and accompanying gunfire. As the Union locomotive came into view, a huge cheer rose from the expectant troops as they anticipated the explosion. Their cheering turned into horrified silence as the Union train passed over the charge without setting it off. As the Union train sped away, the Confederate locomotive smashed into the dynamite, generating a gigantic explosion that destroyed the engine and the next two cars and caused the rest of the train to jump the tracks.
When the smoke cleared, the stunned Rebels saw pieces of the train, military equipment, horses and fellow soldiers scattered for several dozen yards on either side of the railroad tracks.
The payroll had been transported in canvas sacks piled inside of wooden crates. The crates were blown to bits, the sacks were shredded, and the coins were hurled across the adjacent countryside. As the company advanced to give aid to their stricken comrades, a large Yankee cavalry force that charged out of the nearby woods suddenly attacked them.
The Confederates, caught by surprise and found completely disorganized and unprepared for the onslaught, fled for their lives, unmindful of the orders to stand and fight barked by their frantic captain.
Several of the Rebels were killed or wounded as they raced across the fields, but most of them managed to escape into the woods. A few prisoners were taken. The Union troops, having no knowledge whatsoever of the existence of the gold payroll, gave the accident scene a cursory examination and quickly abandoned the area.
Attracted by the sound of the explosion and the initial billow of dark smoke, Chatata residents ran to the scene and provided what aid they could to the Confederate soldiers who were wounded in the blast. Preoccupied with helping the injured, the Chatatans didn't notice the gold and silver payroll coins and military supplies and hardware that lay scattered in the fields.
With the passing of several generations, the incident involving the accidental demolition of the Confederate train faded from memory and soon became only a minor footnote to the history of the region.
Following the Civil War, Chatata continued to grow and prosper and became one of several pleasant and attractive communities in the scenic foothills on the western slopes of the Appalachian Mountains.
In 1905, residents of Chatata decided to change the name of the town to Tasso. Oddly, it was named after an Italian gentleman who often rode the train through the small town. When the train stopped to let out and take on passengers, Tasso would position himself on the rear deck of the caboose and sing opera to anyone who cared to listen. The townspeople apparently liked the spontaneous entertainment and eventually named the town after him.
In 1970, the incident of the destroyed Confederate train was brought to light once again as a result of a remarkable discovery by a Tasso youth. On the afternoon of a hot, humid day, 16-year-old Ben Casteel was playing along the banks of Chatata Creek where it runs parallel with the railroad tracks for several yards. Casteel noticed something slightly out of place in the muddy bottom of the shallow stream and decided to investigate.
To his surprise, the youth pulled a Confederate saber from the thick mud. Outside of being rusted and dirty, the weapon was in almost perfect condition and, after having been examined, was determined to be part of the shipment of military goods carried in the destroyed train. The discovery of the saber served to revive the story and people soon began searching the area in the hope of locating more of the relics and perhaps some of the gold and silver coins.
Since the discovery of the saber, many other relics have been found: mess kits, silverware, and parts of boots, brass buttons and belt buckles. Only very few coins have been found, but a researcher who has thoroughly examined the site has offered an explanation relative to why the gold and silver coins have been so elusive. He also claims to know where to find the coins.
Gold and silver, he says, are relatively heavy metals. When coins are placed on a soft and muddy soil, they have a tendency to gradually sink below the surface. The area adjacent to the railroad tracks near Tasso contains such a soil - one that becomes saturated several times a year from rainfall and which is also prone to some flooding.
When the ground becomes saturated with water, the individual soil grains become easily separated thus allowing any element of significant density to easily sink. In addition, it is believed that local flooding has added at least one and perhaps as much as two feet of silt deposition across the fields since the time of the explosion almost 130 years ago.
The individual silver coins, says the expert, will likely be found between three to six feet below the surface! To locate the coins, it would be necessary to remove a considerable amount of topsoil, a prospect not endorsed by the local farmers.
One enterprising treasure hunter has suggested a series of narrow trenches be excavated, one at a time, near the location of the explosion. Each trench would be excavated to a depth of six to eight feet and the unearthed soil carefully examined with metal detectors.
When one trench is completely examined, it is refilled and another excavated in a similar manner. In this way, minimum disruption and damage to the agricultural fields would occur.
This method of search, if agreed to by all parties concerned, could yield a bountiful harvest of gold and silver coins and many Confederate Army relics.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/02/2011 03:35PM by therick.

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That's a pretty dang cool story.Also sounds a bit like local folk lore and one that would benefit a land ower by him or renting time to detect on. I'm sure detectorists would have uncovered much more over the years if it were indeed true. I say......
Posted by: Jim West Pa
Date: September 02, 2011 10:19PM
we send Vern and the Limey 3 when they return. :lol:



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