Discovery Channel’s new treasure hunting TV series, “Rebel Gold” is taking viewers on a fascinating quest to hunt down an estimated $20 million in hidden Confederate gold. Historians consider this to be America’s greatest unsolved mystery. At the end of the Civil War, with Union troops closing in on him, Confederate president Jefferson Davis and his treasure guards fled south by train with 1.5 tons of gold, silver, jewels, bonds and more. By the time of Davis’ capture, the treasure had vanished. After 150 years, this Rebel Gold is still at large. The “Rebel Gold” team is composed of 7 of the best treasure hunters in the country. If anybody can locate the treasure, it’s this team of experts! Last Tuesday’s episode took place in Danville, Virginia—the first stop along Davis’ route. Larry Cissna and Brandt Arnold divided into two different teams to search separate sites for missing treasure. In Danville, the focus was on locating Mexican silver coins. Part of the Rebel Gold, 39 kegs of silver coins allegedly disappeared in this city.
Men on a Mission: Each with the Same Goal!
At the high point of the Danville search, both teams were buzzing feverishly with metal detectors at the Dan River Plantation. Not only have Mexican coins been found here, many believe this plantation was among Davis’s stops in his mad dash south. Although Brandt Arnold’s team (including Mike Scott and Tracy Short) uncovered an Ice house, their back hoe digging efforts proved futile. Larry Cissna’s team (including Earl Mesimer and relic expert Pete Eles) focused their efforts on digging beneath the floorboards of dilapidated slave quarters. The team found some amazing Civil War relics, including a Confederate military button, but no Mexican silver. Pete Eles is seen using a Lesche digging tool with serrated edge for tough turf as Earl Mesimer sifted dirt through a screen searching for relics with a keen eye. Coming up empty-handed in Danville, both “Rebel Gold” teams are rightfully disappointed (Cissna even fighting back tears). These detectorists have left their business’s and families to go after their dreams of making history. As Cissna and Tracy Short explain, this is the way it goes for treasure hunters. It’s a ton of effort and very rare when you hit the jackpot!
The “Rebel Gold” Team Moves on to Chester, South Carolina
Losing no time in their hunt, team “Rebel Gold” heads south to Chester, South Carolina. Jefferson Davis and his entourage proceeded by train from Danville to Chester with the $20M treasure in tow. They ran into a roadblock in Chester because the train lines running south were destroyed by General Sherman. What to do…what to do? Reports say Davis transferred most of the treasure to horse-drawn wagons, but had to “lighten the load” in order to travel faster. Both Larry and Brandt agree this translates to hiding some of the Rebel Gold in Chester; but they both have their own theories about where Davis hid the loot. Larry believes that Jefferson Davis entrusted the treasure with his inner circle: the “Free Masons.” This secret society dates back to George Washington days and Cissna’s team even finds an ancient scroll of Washington, himself. Team Larry was granted exclusive access to the Chester Mason Lodge, where they investigated vaults of records, leading them to the estate of Nathaniel Greene. The train hauling Rebel Gold camped at Greene’s homestead on April 13, 1865. Unfortunately, with clues ever-abounding, Larry’s team came up empty-handed.
Is Treasure Hidden in the Most Obvious Spot?
Brandt Arnold’s team headed to the Chester Train Depot. Brandt’s theory: Confederates hid the Rebel Gold as quickly as possible in a rather obvious spot: underneath the floor of the train depot. Brandt has been studying the mystery of the hidden Rebel Gold for 18 years and he knows that the wagon caravan consisted of only 11 wagons—which could not have carried ALL of the treasure. Using headlamps and metal detectors, Brandt’s team detected in the dark and treacherous crawlspace beneath the train depot. Although they found valuable antiques (including an 1800’s dispensary bottle), no Rebel Gold surfaced. After admitting defeat, the team headed to the “Spring Campsite,” on Cissna’s hunch that Confederate treasure guards may have buried the Rebel Gold at this camp site. Although this site didn’t deliver any promising finds, the “Rebel Gold” crew is still as optimistic as ever that they will uncover the Confederate treasure at some point in this journey!
Next Up Tonight on Discovery Channel: Lost Gold, Team Will Travel
At the close of the “Chester Treasure” episode, Larry Cissna gets a text from his buddy saying the team needs to get to Washington, Georgia right quick. He’s stumbled across new clues about the treasure’s whereabouts. Interestingly, Washington, GA was the last place Jefferson Davis stayed before his capture by Union troops. Records indicate that the Rebel Gold was actually seen at this location—being divided up. Team “Rebel Gold” will again receive exclusive access to properties never before detected. Will the team discover gold in the uncovered corners of Washington, GA? Tune in tonight to find out!
Tune in tonight to the Discovery Channel! “Rebel Gold” Season 1 Episode 3: “In Gold We Trust” airs September 29, 2015 at 10pm ET/PT. Check local listings for MT and CT.
The “Rebel Gold” Team:
- Mike Scott: equipment specialist, Director at First Texas Products (Teknetics, Fisher and Bounty Hunter metal detectors)
- Larry Cissna: life-long treasure hunter
- Brandt Arnold: Confederate troop expert
- Earl Mesimer: relic hunter for 30+ years
- Tracy Short: safety expert, relic hunter
- Dan Yarrusso: water specialist, long time detectorist
- Pete Eles: renowned relic expert
Metal Detecting Equipment Used on the “Rebel Gold” TV Show
The team on “Rebel Gold” relies on several high-quality metal detectors during this momentous treasure hunt. Teknetics T2 metal detector is featured on the show, as well as the Fisher F75 detector. These are high-performance, multi-purpose professional-grade metal detectors that are ideal for relic hunting, gold nugget prospecting and coin hunting. Look for the Teknetics G2+ and Fisher F19 in select episodes. We’re sure you’ll see metal detecting headphones, digging tools and relic hunting shovels, as well. You can find all of this metal detecting equipment and more at MetalDetector.com!
Bookmark this Blog Page! Come back each week for “Rebel Gold” episode previews and descriptions!