Dixon's "Lucky" Gold Coin Found

Dixon's gold coin with the inscription (l.) and the Lady Liberty side (r.) that the bullet struck. (2001 Friends of the Hunley)

The long-awaited treasure of the H.L. Hunley Lt. George Dixon's gold coin has been found inside the submarine.

Dr. Robert Neyland, Project Director, said, "The coin was found by Dixon's remains and in the middle of some textiles; possibly he kept it in his pants pocket."

The coin is bent, true to the story that a bullet hit the coin and saved Lt. Dixon's leg and life. The story goes that his sweetheart, Queenie Bennett, gave him a 20-dollar United States gold piece for luck that he kept in his pants pocket. On April 6, 1862, in the Battle of Shiloh, Lt. Dixon was shot in the leg. Luckily when he was shot, the bullet hit the gold piece, in essence saving his life. After that, Dixon always kept that lucky coin with him. The coin was minted in 1860, and the side with the image of Lady Liberty was hit by the bullet. The other side has the Federal shield and eagle symbol. That side appears to be sanded and has an inscription in cursive script that reads in four lines:

April 6, 1862
My life Preserver

The coin has been removed from the Conservation Center to a secured location.


Article Posted: 2001 

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