MELBOURNE, Fla. (FOX 35 ORLANDO) - A professional treasure hunter and his partners are exploring the history and mystery of Florida's East Coast, recently unearthing Civil War-era weapons.
Dr. Michael Torres said the site in Volusia County was once a military fort of the Confederacy that came under attack by Union forces. Historians have long known where the battle-site was, but it’s been in disarray, he added.
There are new developments though as several artifacts have been pulled from the ruins and the ground. The artifacts are going to be displayed at Florida Preparatory Academy in Melbourne. The school is so intrigued by these finds, they are launching a new program to round up as much material as they can.
“We were out there for hours, searching, and then finding something of such cultural significance," said Dr. Michael Torres. "It’s enthralling, it’s a high.”
Torres showed us the top of a battle axe, the actual blade. He also has an artillery round. When the North and South were fighting for naval routesin the 1860s, in the height of the Civil War, these weapons were used on coastal Volusia County. Torres and his team are confident theres more where these came from.
“The site was shelled into oblivion. That’s a Civil War debris field,” said Dr. Torres.
He said his next move is getting additional man-power and more hands to dig. He’ll be starting a course in archeology at Florida Prep. The best and brightest students will be able to take field trips to the Civil War fort, and go wherever the trail leads Dr. Torres next.
“The entire state is an archaeological site,” Torres said.
Dr. Marshall D. Willman is President of Florida Prep, and he says these artifacts and the new classes are a way to inspire young minds. Willman agrees that relics of the past are all over the area.
“I want to mobilize our entire school around this effort and the excitement of discovering something that will change our history or add to our historical knowledge. That’s certainly motivating to get them out to the field,” Dr. Willman said.
Details about the Florida Prep expeditions are forthcoming.