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Lost Confederate gold, The Mule Creek Theory
Lost Confederate Gold
If you grew up in the mid to late sixties you would know it was a different era. For some of us it was more of an innocent time; especially for those of us that lived in a small town where you literally knew everyone but, because you did, it seemed that talk in general was fairly open and very speculative about a number of subjects but, as always, sometime, some way, you were going to end up on the topic of ghosts, haunted places or just strange stories.
In the area of South Georgia I’m from, there are a number of stories going back many decades. One strange thing that no one can figure out is an iron arrow driven through an oak tree near the banks of Reedy creek pointing to what; nobody knows or has ever made an educated guess at. Some of course speculate that it might be pointing the direction of buried treasure or perhaps a civil war era weapons cache.
Another story from the civil war era that I heard a couple of old timers talk about was what they referred to as the Mule Creek Massacre. This story possibly has its beginning toward the end of the war with confederate vice president Alexander H. Stephens who was from Crawfordville, Ga. While he was from North Georgia, It was rumored that he had relatives in South Georgia.
When confederate President Jefferson Davis who was escaping from advancing union troops, was captured in Georgia. It has been the subject of a lot of tales and folklore that the whole of the confederate treasury was also with him at one point and after his capture, it disappeared. It was said that some of the fleeing soldiers who thought they were close to being taken prisoner hid bags of gold coins in crevasses of rocks and trees and were subsequently killed or couldn’t remember were they hid them. It was purported that some of these bags were found as much as a hundred years later but, this can’t be verified. This part of the mystery was written about by an Atlanta Journal- Constitution columnist back in the late nineteen-eighties, sparking some interest in the story.
This is where the Mule Creek theory comes into play that the bulk of the confederate treasury was transported under guard on into South Georgia; possibly to relatives of the confederate vice president for safe keeping. When they arrived at the fork of Mule Creek and Okapilco creek something ominous happened to the escorting soldiers as well as the gold. Some say they were massacred by Native Americans that happened to be in the area at the time, though there is no historical evidence that any had been there since the late eighteenth century. A handful of Creek or Seminole that lived in counties west of the location would even have been a remote possibility being there had been no hostilities between them and the white man for years. The mere mention of natives was probably a ploy to throw suspicion in another direction much like the Boston Tea Party of our revolution.
Most have come to believe it was opportunistic renegade union soldiers who took the gold and were never heard from again. This is not necessarily far fetched being that General Sherman had sixty thousand plus soldiers in Georgia at the time so; it’s possible to have had a few stray in there plundering effort.
I’ve heard old timers say that rusted horse bridles, rifles, pistol, buttons from era uniforms and other items have been found at the area.
To my knowledge no one has ever given a satisfying account of this event or to the mystery of the missing confederate gold. Chances are we may never know. Of course we’ll still ponder if this account of the mystery has any credence and speculate on other theories late at night sitting in an easy chair or on the front porch swing on a cool summer night; full...And yet never satisfied….but, then again that’s what legends are made of.
Disclaimer: This article does not claim to be of any historical value, it is simply a story that was told and recorded by the author, One of many on this subject. It is what it is ...a theory.
2009 © Mit Kroy