Not a collector? You still need to attend a Civil War show!

If you have any interest in history, especially the Civil War, you need to attend a relic show. A good place to start is the annual Chattanooga Civil War & Artifact Show & Sale held each July in Eastridge, Tennessee. Although only in its second year, this show is already becoming a major event for those with an interest in all types of historical artifacts and antique militaria, with a special emphasis on the Civil War. This year, 250-eight foot long vendor and display tables filled the air conditioned, spacious show hall, as over 1,000 people passed through the Camp Jordan Arena over a two-day period. Several quality door prizes were offered, including two metal detectors. As an added bonus, kids under 12 received their choice of a Civil War Minie Ball or a dinosaur fossil.

Awards were given for Best of Show, Peoples’ Choice, Best Dug Artifact, Best non-dug Artifact, and Most Educational. According to show promotor Butch Holcombe (also publisher of American Digger magazine, the show’s sponsor), “We feel it is important to reward those who share their personal collections and prize artifacts with the public by displaying them at public events like this one.”

For those who have not attended a show of this type before, it is highly recommended to anyone with an interest in history, particularly Civil War. While not everyone wants to purchase an artifact (for there are thousands to choose from in all price ranges), there is much to be learned. For the re enactor, they can look at authentic examples of equipment in their strive for authenticity; some even go so far as to buy an eagle or flat button-both under $10- to sew on their own uniform, giving them an actual Civil War relic to wear; there is nothing quite like wearing the real thing. For those who haunt auctions, antique shops, or estate sales, they can learn more about what to be on the lookout for. For amateur archeologists and metal detectorists, it is a chance to ask questions about what they found and how it was used. For researchers, it is a good place to network.

The show is already planned for next year July 25 & 26, 2020 at the same location.