You don't have to head all the way out to the Wild West if you're in search of buried treasure...in fact, there are reports that there is a cache of Civil War-era valuables worth upwards of $350,000 buried deep in the woods of Fairfax County, Virginia. That's a lot of booty!
It all started when Confederate Colonel (and notorious guerilla fighter) John Singleton Mosby launched a daring night raid one rainy night in early March of 1863. Mosby and his men captured 42 Union soldiers who were camping out at the Fairfax County Courthouse without firing a single shot. The Confederate army also, according to legend, found a burlap sack containing family heirlooms and treasures taken from the homes of Virginia's wealthiest planters in Brigadier General Edwin H. Stoughton's room. Jewerly, candlesticks, coins and more were reportedly among the booty that was on its way to Union authorities. Mosby and his men rounded up their captives, packed up the treasure and headed back towards Confederate lines.
On their way back, Mosby's Raiders ran into a little trouble; his scouts discovered that he and his men were about to walk right into a huge contingent of Union soldiers. Mosby, unsure of what was ahead and unwilling to let the valuables fall back into Union hands, took his most trusted sergeant and buried the treasure in the woods "between two pine trees", marking them with an X so he would be able to find it again. He had every intention of recovering the goods as soon as it was safe...but things didn't work out that way.
He and his men arrived back to Culpepper, but it was a few months before Mosby felt it was safe enough to retrieve the goods. He sent his sergeant with six of his best men to go dig up the booty-- but before Mosby's men could reach the loot, they were captured by Union soliders and hanged for being guerillas near Front Royal, VA. Mosby was the only person left alive who knew where the treasure was buried. He was never able to return, however, and he took the location of some of Virginia's most precious heirlooms with him to his grave. The legendary treasure is still out there somewhere around Fairfax and Culpepper, between those two large pine trees, waiting to be discovered...brb, buying a shovel.
Want more Civil War sites to explore? Check out our guide to Full Metal History!