The FBI Was Afraid Pennsylvania Would Seize Stash of Civil War Gold: Report

The federal government feared Pennsylvania would seize Civil War gold cache.
According to legend, a stash of gold was buried in Pennsylvania. Getty

The federal government wanted to seize a stash of Civil War gold in Pennsylvania before the state could get to it, according to a report.

Newly unsealed court documents show the federal government has been looking for a legendary cache of Civil War gold, The Associated Press reported Thursday.

An FBI agent applied for a federal warrant in 2018 to seize gold “stolen during the Civil War” while en route to the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, and was “now concealed in an underground cave” in northwestern Pennsylvania, according to an unsealed affidavit.

The document showed the federal government had been looking for the treasure, something the FBI had previously refused to confirm, The AP reported. The FBI has previously said it found nothing at the site.

The wire service and the Philadelphia Inquirer had requested the documents be unsealed. A federal judge and prosecutors did not oppose the petition, which allowed the court records to be made public.

The FBI agent's affidavit showed the government believed the gold was buried in Pennsylvania.

“I have probable cause to believe that a significant cache of gold is secreted in the underground cave,” wrote agent Jacob Archer. The gold weighed “one or more tons” and belonged to the U.S. government, he said.

Archer said the seizure warrant was necessary because Pennsylvania might claim the cache for the state, creating a costly legal battle.

The FBI partly based its request on work done by pair of treasure hunters who had made hundreds of trips to the area. The father-and-son team said they believed they'd found the Union gold, which, according to lore, was lost or stolen on its way to the U.S. Mint in 1863.

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