I am a recent member here. I was born and raised in Richmond, VA and I still live here. I have read in absolute amazement all of the threads in this forum and I have to say, y'all are doing a fine job indeed of preserving history.
I wonder sometimes at the maligning of the amateur battlefield detectives by the "authorities". Being a history buff myself, I am all too aware of the fact that but for private individuals, much of what we know about our past would have surely been lost. I myself used the faded recollections and scant evidence preserved by relatives to track down and reunite our family with our German relatives, with whom we lost contact as a result of WWII. Though I was born 25 years after the end of the war, I still had pictures, letters, and family stories to help me in my search.
I have been to the many battlefields and museums in Virginia, and the collections are full of items preserved by amateurs. . .picked up on battlefields or found long after the war was over.
I think perhaps the idea that only the "professionals" are equipped to preserve history is a late twentieth century phenomenon which has grown with the "nanny-state" mentality so prevalent in Europe and in some cases, the United States as well.
I tip my hat to you all. Y'all are doing an amazing job preserving history for future generations. Please continue to document your finds so that those who come after you will know where these items were found as well as understand their significance.
You are preserving human history, and you are a credit. No army of beaurocrats could come close to the job you are doing.