The Jim Surrey Story

by | Aug 7, 2017 | Treasure Stories | 0 comments

Looting and caching of treasure was widely indulged in by both factors during the Civil War. It was practiced by some of the regular army units and by freewheeling guerrillas. As a precaution against just such looting by invading troops many plantation owners in Virginia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and the Carolinas buried millions of dollars worth of family jewelry and heirlooms.

One such hoard awaiting discovery consists of approximately three million dollars worth of gold and silver plate and jewelry contributed by patriotic Southerners to the Confederate Treasury in Richmond. It was meant to purchase arms and ammunition from England. All of this treasure was safely transported to Richmond during February and March, 1865. But the night of April 1, 1865 two days before the fall of the city a bank of guerrillas led by a former Confederate sergeant, Jim Surry, murdered the four-man Treasury guard and fled with the entire amount.

They got as far as the James River, where they found themselves trapped between pursuing troops from Richmond and reinforcements marching northward from Petersburg. There they buried the treasure, just before Surrey and his eleven followers were killed to the last man.