About VCWR

My name is Plez Bagby and I am a husband, a father, and a collector of Civil War plates and buckles. In addition to collecting, I also buy, sell and trade plates, buckles and other miscellaneous excavated Civil War items. I have a particular interest in excavated maker marked plates and buckles. My intent with this website is not only to advertise my inventory of available items but also to help promote this wonderful hobby. My mission is to be fair and honest in all of my dealings.


I was born in 1957 in Richmond, VA. I have been collecting Civil War relics since the mid-sixties when my father and I would walk through the recently tilled and rain soaked fields of the farm where I grew up. I was 8 or 9 at the time and the memories of those walks are forever etched in my mind. What I remember the most was the contrast of the stark white three ring bullet against the dark brown soil that made it stand out so as to say, "pick me up!" We must have covered miles picking up anything that caught our glancing eyes. The green eagle buttons, knapsack hooks and other miscellaneous brass objects filled our pockets. Arrowheads were also plentiful and I remember Dad explaining to me that I didn't necessarily have to pick up EVERY rock I came across, that I should look for the rocks with rough edges and arrow shape. Now that was good advice……

The seventies arrived and so did my much desired Metrotech metal detector. Prior to this, I had been given an old wooden frame detector that was bright red and somewhat heavy. I used it several times, but never found much. For a while, I decided that I did better without it, and went back to eyeballing bullets between rows of corn in the summertime heat. In my opinion, my new Metrotech was state of the art, and I was ready to hit the woods and fields with great confidence. The farm where I grew up was conveniently located adjacent to one of General George McClellan's encampments, on private land, which I had been given permission to hunt. I quickly discovered that I was certainly not the first, nor would I be the last relic hunter, to wander through the woods of this great campsite. I did manage to find my first few plates, one of which was a cartridge box plate with the maker mark of "Boyd and Sons, Boston." It was chocolate in color, had both hooks, and was, without a doubt, the best thing that could have ever happened to a 13-year-old boy with a detector. Life was great. I am sure it was this find that seeded my current interest in maker marked plates.

As the seventies wore on, and I became a full-fledged teenager, my focus shifted from relics to other things. High school and college came and went, and after a two month adventure across Europe, I returned to Richmond, VA where I then spent 34 years in the real estate business.  I continued to hunt relics when time permitted, typically returning to my old haunts. Even today the grounds that I covered 30 plus years ago still yield a bullet every now and then. Today, when I hunt and come up empty and tired, I console myself by thinking of the marvelous exercise I just got. But deep down, I would have preferred finding just one bullet to the exercise!

I have created this website to enhance my connection to the relics of the American Civil War. I truly enjoy my continuing self-education in this field. I attend the various relic shows that come to my area, not only to see the latest finds, but also because it's an excellent opportunity to exchange information with other relic hunters and collectors. I also review, on a regular basis, the trusted reference books by such authors as Phillips, Albert, Crouch, Kerksis, Mullinax, Keim, McKee and Mason, Tice, Sylvia, O'Donnell and Campbell, and Dickey and George. Finally, the best source of information comes from the hard working relic dealers who tote their tons of lead, brass and iron from show to show across the nation. These folks have made lifelong careers of getting their hands dirty with relics. The information and knowledge that they possess in this field is beyond comprehension, and I admire their willingness to help educate anyone who seems the least bit interested...like me.

I hope you will enjoy my relic site and thank you for visiting. Plez Bagby