Lost Treasure of Petersburg

Book Cover


19th Century,Earlier 20th Century,1960s & '70s

James B. Arnold, Jr.

TaleFlick Pick!

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Accidentally finding a secret tunnel underneath a museum in 1973. Going back to the civil war. Leading eight men and women with highly specialized abilities. A bankrupt U. S. Treasury. Ten wagon loads of gold headed to Richmond and D.C..Train explosions, gold at the bottom of the river 300 feet deep


Historical Fiction,Action,Adventure,Mystery,War,Suspense/Thriller

Short Summary

Confederate soldiers working in the tunnel underground at the Centre Hill Museum in Petersburg, Va. Damn cold! Wagons arrive with large wooden crates to be unloaded into the tunnel. Crates are much heavier than they should be. An explosion occurs that caves in the tunnel and kills many men. Booth!

Two men remodeling the museum discover the tunnel. Upon excavating, skeletons, gold, and weapons are discovered. The two men hatch a plan to search for gold at the bottom of the Appomattox River using magnetic cranes to lift trains gold and weapons. Millions are recovered along with skeletons & more


Petersburg, Va. Centre Hill Museum, county fair, around the U.S. Wash. D.C.

Based on a True Story


Plot - Premise

Rags to Riches,Quest

Plot - Other Elements

Happy Ending,Twist

Mature Audience Themes

Extreme Violence

Main Character Details

Name: Joe Bryant. Arthur B. DeKay (The Colonel)

Age: 22. 50

Gender: Male

Role: Mentor

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aspiring,Badass,Charming,Confident,Gracious,Honorable,Leader,Modest,Patriotic,Selfless,Visionary

Additional Character Details

Name: Arthur B. DeKay (The Colonel)

Age: 50

Gender: Male

Role: Mentor

Key Traits: Adventurous,Aggressive,Complex,Confident,Faithful,Heroic,Honorable,Leader,Unapologetic,Masculine,Patriotic,Blunt,Skillful

Additional Character Details

Name: Protectors

Age: 20,s

Gender: Male

Role: sidekick

Key Traits: Aggressive,Badass,Confident,Heartthrob,Masculine,Obedient,Sexy,Skillful,Romantic,Seductive

Additional Character Details

Name: John Hawkins

Age: 45

Gender: Male

Role: skeptic

Key Traits: Badass,Aggressive,Confident,Flexible,Honorable,Skillful,Masculine

Development Pitch

Two workers discover a secret tunnel while restoring a historic museum in 1973. In 1820, twelve year old Jeff Davis and eleven year old Abe Lincoln meet at a county fair for the first time and during the event become best friends for life. During the Civil War, they are both worried that the U. S. Treasury is going broke and will leave whatever country is left in ruins. A plan is hatched and a man is put in charge! The Colonel. The Colonel has superior strength and searches for others that he has heard of that possesses similar skills. Once hired, trained and ready, they travel around the country getting into trouble and fights while collecting large quantities of gold from all the mints. On their final leg of this journey, fate deals a vicious blow. J. W. Booths brother blows up the train carrying half the gold to D.C. which explodes and crashes in the river at it's deepest depth. The explosion also causes the tunnel to collapse with the rest of the gold, soldiers and more. In 1974 Joe finds gold in the tunnel and the city excavates to find crates of gold, weapons and skeletons. From a secret letter the Colonel left for Joe, they excavate the river with magnetic cranes to raise the trains weapons, gold and of course skeletons of long dead soldiers. The Federal courts decide who and how the gold will be split. Also included is a sample of the second book that feature John, Joe and the Colonel and the Lost Dutchman of Arizona. Finding gold in the Superstitution ,mountains

About The Author

I was born in Petersburg, Va. in 1954. Petersburg is rich in Civil War history as at least two major battles were fought there. Hundreds of men lost there lives and many are buried in Blandford cemetery in Petersburg.As a youngster, I payed among the graves and in the National Battlefield in the bulwarks and on the cannons. While remodeling an old mansion for the city I discovered a huge tunnel that had been walled up in the basement. (THE TUNNEL IS STILL THERE). The tunnel had been used by confederate officers to escape as well as slaves from the Underground Railroad. Much of the book is about the tunnel and gold.

Target Audiences

Age: 7-12,13-17,18-34,35-54,55+

Target Gender: Universal

Group Specific

Information not completed

Publishing Details

Status: Yes: self-published

Publisher: James Arnold and Amazon

Year Published: 2021

Hard Copy Available







Joe undercovers a secret museum and the origins of the secret service and other government agencies in an abandoned house in Virginia. This home was in total disarray but Joe unearths it's secrets. Secret meetings occurred between President Lincoln and President Davis to end the Civil War. This leads to the discovery of a lost fortune in a Virginia river.

Overall Rating


Point of View


Narrative Elements

Authors Writing Style: GOOD

Characterization: GOOD

Commerciality: GOOD

Franchise Potential: GOOD

Pace: GOOD

Premise: GOOD

Structure: GOOD

Theme: GOOD

Accuracy of Book Profile

The book profile does accurately reflect the book, but it is not written comprehensively. It reads like disjointed thoughts.

Draw of Story

The story piques interest with long lost gold and adventure. The house that Joe is renovating has an air of mystery and history around it. There are secrets to uncover.

Possible Drawbacks

The book could be more politically correct. The talk surrounding the "Indians" is very outdated. It doesn't allude to the fact that the Native Americans had land stolen from them and were fighting back. They are referred to as a nuisance. More care can be taken with their representation.

Use of Special Effects


Primary Hook of Story

The hook is that a secret organization was created by Abraham Lincoln to stop the civil war. Colonel DeKay trains the men and women to be the best but tragedy strikes as many die in a terrifying train accident that sinks the Unions valuables into a river.

Fanbase Potential

This could have a large fanbase because it has many attractive elements. There is history, adventure, mystery, secrets and buried treasure.

Awards Potential

This does not have awards potential. There is not extraordinary about this type of story and has been seen before.

Envisioned Budget


Similar Films/TV Series


What’s New About the Story

The story is unique in how it uses real life figures and creates a new narrative around them. The use of Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis being involved in an undercover organization that do covert mission is unique. The structure of the plot is not unique.

Lead Characters

The lead characters do not stand out and are typical characters for this genre of story.

Uniqueness of Story

This is an entertaining take on a hidden treasure story. It is very predictable but will hold the interest of an audience.

Possible Formats

Film - Indie, Film - Streaming, Film - Studio, TV Series - Limited Run / Mini-Series

Analyst Recommendation



This is a consider because it has a solid story that has many elements that would be entertaining to an audience. There is a little something for everyone. The story does tend to wash over some of the more harsh realities of the time period which could be seen as insensitive.