According to legend, Hunley Captain George Dixon was given a $20 gold coin by his sweetheart when he left for war. During the Battle of Shiloh, Dixon was shot. The bullet struck the coin in his trouser pocket, absorbing the impact of the shot and sparing his life. Countless legends are born during war, but few are ever proven. For 137 years, no one knew whether the story was a historical fact or a romantic tale passed from generation to generation.
A Legend Becomes Reality
During the excavation of the Hunley, a gold coin minted in 1860 was discovered lying on Dixon’s hip bone. It was warped from the impact of a bullet, and traces of lead were discovered on the coin. One side bears the image of Lady Liberty, and the other has been sanded and inscribed with the following words:
April 6th 1862
My life Preserver
G. E. D.