A Scottsboro resident creates cross figures using Civil War bullets

SCOTTSBORO, Ala. -- Patrick Stewart's love of all things vintage was inspired by his father, a history teacher in Alabama.

"We use to go walk the fields for arrow heads," Stewart said.

He soon picked up metal detection as a hobby, hunting for relics like old bullets and letters from the Civil War era.

"I started collecting letters that were written here by Civil War soldiers in Jackson County, all the way from Paint Rock Valley, all the way to Bridgeport," Stewart said.

Soldiers, both Union and Confederate, writing home to family members. Most of the letters share a common theme.

"Their love and passion for Jesus and going to service, Sunday school service. Just worship," Stewart said.

The letters helped him find the metal pieces and that got him thinking.

"That kind of gave me the idea of, you know what, I can do something and maybe give back," Stewart said.

So he decided to turn the bullets into crosses.

"I melt them over a fire with a ladle. I pour them into a mold and I coat the lead, so you're not touching the lead with your bare hands."

Stewart said while the soldiers may have had differing opinions about the war, one thing united them. "They had their faith in Jesus."

The crosses not only teach history, but share history as well. "I think it's good for places like the Scottsboro Depot Museum to be able to tell that story and show the letters and just remember where you came from," Stewart said.