Culpeper Times • April 14-20, 2016
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BEHIND THE BADGE Collins cares about people and about preserving our links to the past William Collins works in the present but his passion is in the past. The bespeckled jail supervisor looks more the scholar than a man who straps on a firearm every morning to go to work. When he isn’t on duty or grilling prime cuts of meat at home, Collins is out scouring the land with his metal detector recovering the past. “Sometimes when I find a relic I’ll just leave it in place, look at it, and think about how it got there,” he said. “I’ll do that for a half hour or so sometimes.” Finding the relic is only part of the process for Collins who researches the units which traversed the land 150 years ago. This month he found a North Carolina belt buckle, a rare find according to Collins. With buckle in hand, he is now researching the Battle of Brandy Station and the units involved. “He [the cavalry combatant] probably took off the belt and just threw it aside,” Collins said. The buckle was poorly soldered and
William H. Collins III
Age: 43, married First Sergeant: Culpeper County Jail Hobbies: Civil War relic hunting, reading, history buff probably broke apart, he theorizes. Reading history, researching courthouse records, understanding battles and encampments of 150 years ago, Collins traverses the great divide between today’s world and the Civil War era. The burly First Sergeant came by the hobby easily. He grew up in Hanover County amidst battlefields and relics “surrounded by history” as he put it. Then, one day he saw some relic collectors out in the field near his house. They showed him what they found and he was hooked. He got his own detector and searched the fields near home. “When I was a teenager I sold what I found at the country store,” he said. It kept him in pocket
change. But relic hunting is neither Collins’ profession nor his career path. Public service began as a volunteer at the fire department starting as a junior firefighter at age 14 and ending 23 years later in the department as an Assistant Chief. During the same time as he volunteered at the firehouse he worked for the Virginia Alcohol Beverage Control Board (ABC) as a security officer for the headquarters and then later for all of the stores in the state. He left that position to work security for J. Sergeant Reynolds Community College, then Homeland Security as a police officer, moving from there to the Warrenton Police Department. The then sheriff of Fauquier County noticed Collins in the Warrenton P.D. and recruited him for a position in the Sheriff’s Department. It was only a short leap to Culpeper when Sheriff Jenkins snagged Collins for his new administration in Culpeper. ➤ See Collins, Page 6
PHOTO COURTESY OF CCSO
First Sergeant William H. Collins recently unearthed a North Carolina belt buckle circa the Civil War period.
Thank you to the Culpeper Hospital Auxiliary volunteers for all you do! Adams, Frances Aitken, Nancy E. Allen, Joey Allen, Marabeth Anderson, Virginia Legacy Baker, Richard Baker, Ricki Barrett, Brenda Bartlett, Joan Bates, Mickey Batten, Clarence Batten, Louise Bayne, Shirley Ann Booker, Janice Bradshaw, Thelma Brewer, Jackie Brinson, Mildred Brooks, Bess Brown, Bill Brown, Pat Browning, Betty Broyles, Linda Bryant, Edgar-Legacy Burdette, Jane Burke, Iva-Legacy Burke-Green, Toni Burns, Elizabeth Bussenger, Charles Bussenger, Emily Butler, Susan Bywaters, Marge-Legacy Canavan, Sally Carnes, Luanne Cenkus, Richard Chambers, Bob Chambers, Melanie Chiles, Ketsy Collins, Betty-Legacy Cook, Gayle Corbin Pam
Crawford, Mabel Crossman, Patricia Cubbage, Doris Curtis, Brenda Davis, B. J. Davis, Kathy Dietler, Bettie-Legacy Dodson, Holly Legacy Duke, Norma Jean Legacy Dykes, Marian Eisenstaedt, Ginny Ellis, Joan-Legacy Essertier, Shirley Evans, Marcia French, Margot Fries, Joan Frost, Patricia D. Gaines, Donna Gallagher, Sara Gallegos, Dottie Garr, Barbara Garr, Margie Gately, Carmen Giannico, Rita Gilchrist, Sarah-Legacy Glass, Bud Glass, Mary Jane Gore, Betty Gore, Judy Gorman, Shirley Green Newt Griffith, Marye Hackworth, Amanda Hall, Sandy Hardaway, Linda Hawkins, Linda Hawkins, Maggie Hayes, Julie A Haynes, Jewell Heltzel, Ellen H.
Herndon, Helen Legacy Hitt, Brenda Hoffman, Mary Alice Hooff, Dorothy C. Hopkins, Alice S. Horvath, Ruby Howard, Elizabeth Legacy Howell, Betty Ann Hoyt, Betty Hudnall, Becky Hunt, Lucille Hurt, Nancy Inskeep, Doris Legacy Inskeep, Jean Ives, Dorothy Jackson, Donna Jenkins, Frances Jenkins, Inez Jenkins, Jean Jett, Linda Johnson, Teresa Jones, Glenda Jones, Harold (Jake) Josaitis, Donna Karhan, Lois Kennedy, Emily Kibler, Christine Kirkland, Bess-Legacy Klamer, Grace Kline, Velma L. Lamphere Elaine Lane, Sheila Legacy Lang, Cynthia Lanham, Georgia Legacy Layden, Laura Pauline Lederer, Millie Lepore, Monika Lester, Betty Lea Lewis, Dorothy Lewis, Randy
Lewis, Shirley Lewis, Virginia Gayle Liberatore, Ernest Liebold, Mellissa Marsh, Joyce Martin, Dolores E. Legacy Martin, Patricia McConchie, Dottie McKay, Douglas, W. Mead, Donna Monaghan, Gloria Muollo, Brenda Murry, Marylou Myers, Eva Myers, Joy Myers, Susan Nees, Charlotte Nicholson, Doris Noonan, Barbara O’Bannon, Helen Obenshain, Bonnie Offutt, Elaine Oliver, Pamela Payne, Ann Payne, Frances W. Perry, Brittany Peyton, Charlene Phillips, Gloria Phillips, Janev Phillips, Mary Lou Proctor, Joan Pullen, Samantha Quaintance, Virginia Legacy Racey, Shirley Ramer, Bernice Ramey, Florence Rawley, Dawn Reineck, Edith-Legacy Reiss, Lynn Riley, Tabitha
Rinker, Eleanor L. Robertson, Frances Romagnoli, Jules Rowan, Susan Rowe, Ann Ruffo, David Sargent, Mary Schaeffer, Dot Scott, Jane Siira, Edward W. Sisk, Julia Sjordal, Joy Smith, Elly Smith, Kenneth Smith, Ralph Stanton, Lawanna Stephens, Inga Steward, Jemaire Stover, Monica Stumpf, David Sturgill, Helen R. Sudduth James Tarbous, Ellie Thayer, Janice Thomas, Hermine Thomas, Jane Tolbert, Joanne Toler, Sarah Toliver, Mary L. Tredway, Candy Trementozzi, Stephanie Utz, Dorothy Van Ness, Bruce Vance, Marlene Viar, Bonnie Vogel, Minna Walker, Diana Walker, Margaret Legacy Wallace,Gay Ward, Shirley Nicole
Ware, Marlene Waters, Barbara Wayland, Jane Weaver, Nancy Weber, Barbara Whalen, Mary Legacy Wharton, Joyce White, Frances Whitlock, Joyce Whitman, Katherine Whittington, Michael Whittington, Shirley Wicht, Joyce Wiley, Marjory Betsy Williams, Margaret Wolfe, Marie Woll, Priscilla Wood, Frances Woodberry, Penny Wortman, Virginia Wright, Martha Wu, Donna Ziegler, Dorothy-Legacy Pet Therapy Dogs Barney Buddy Elly Mae Jasper Kayla Windy Special thanks to the church and civic organizations who have knit and donated baby caps to the UVA Culpeper Hospital Family Birth Center via the Auxiliary.