Sunday, September 21, 2014

Lost Gold of the Confederacy

On May 24, 1865, two wagon trains filled with gold, one containing the last of the Confederate treasury and the other money from Virginia banks, were robbed at Chennault Crossroads in Lincoln County.

Chennault Plantation was owned by the elderly Dionysius Chennault. The gold was to be returned to France who had loaned the money to support the Confederacy. Jefferson Davis had given his word that the gold would be returned regardless of the outcome of the war.
Captain Parker of the Navy and a group of other volunteers brought the gold from Richmond, Virginia, to Anderson, South Carolina, by train and from there by wagon hoping to get to Savannah.

Parker was to camp outside Washington, Georgia, where he was to meet with Jefferson Davis and receive further instructions. Parker's group camped on the Chennault place and then received word to proceed on to Augusta and then Savannah, while avoiding contact with the large number of Union troops present in Georgia. Their scouts met Union troops before they got to Augusta.
The group returned to the Chennault Plantation. Parker was unable to receive further instructions from Davis because he had already left Washington.

It was on this night that the gold disappeared, about 100 yards from the porch of the house. One theory says that the treasure was buried at the confluence of the Apalachee and Oconee rivers. Some say that the gold was divided among the locals.

Union troops later came to the Chennault Plantation to find the gold. They tortured the occupants of the house trying to force them to reveal where the gold was hidden but to no avail. The entire Chennault family was taken to Washington, DC to undergo intensive interrogation. They were questioned thoroughly as to the whereabouts of the gold, but the Chennaults could not tell anything that was not already known. They were released a few weeks later and returned to their home in Georgia.
As time went by, the Chennault plantation became known as the "golden farm," and for many years after that people came there to search for the missing gold. Down through the years, many gold coins have been found along the dirt roads near the plantation following a heavy rain storm.

Legend persists that the treasure was hastily buried on the original grounds of Chennault Plantation and remains there today.