Gurley Lions Club serving the Gurley community since 1948
Gurley Lions Club serving the Gurley community since 1948

Lost Keel Mountain Gold
Dan Sachs

Addendum 08-18-06:
William (Bill) Walker has been contacted by a national magazine titled Lost Treasure, Inc.
The managing editor wants to print a feature article about The Lost Gold of Keel Mountain (see The Legend of the Lost Gold of Keel Mountain), complete with photos, in an upcoming edition. They will let him know when this particular edition of the magazine would come out so he can advise the folks of Gurley. Bill would like to make sure Gurley gets publicity as well.

Most of the guerillas had now reached the top in pursuit of the fleeing Federals, all but Jeremiah McCain who had seen the young soldier fall.

Listen to the song The Lost Keel Mountain Gold
Listen to the Lost Keel Mountain Gold song written by William Walker Guitar and Vocal: Dan Sachs Accompanying Banjo: John Talbot Music and Lyrics written by William Walker Copyright 2005

Guitar and Vocal: Dan Sachs
Accompanying Banjo: John Talbott
Music and Lyrics written by William Walker
Copyright 2005

Lost Keel Mountain Gold - The Song

The song, Lost Keel Mountain Gold, was inspired by the colorful story of a legend of lost treasure. The story has passed down through several generations. It can be found on the Gurley, AL website and can also be found on the National Treasure Hunters website. The legend's truth cannot be substantiated, however, it makes for a great tale and only adds intrigue and mystery to the colorful history of the Town of Gurley, and Madison County, Alabama. There are no known records of the event and only the discovery of gold coins on Keel Mountain would ever prove the story a reality.

In the late 1800s, part of the eastern portion of Keel Mountain was owned by the writer's great Grandfather, Elijah Walker, and later his widow, Matilda. The mountain contained a unique chalybeate spring, known for the medicinal qualities of the water. For several years, water was piped down from the spring to various homes and businesses in Gurley.

The vocalist and artist, Dan Sachs, has been playing the guitar and singing and writing songs since he was eighteen years old. His voice resonates a clear, deep, and pure tone, perfect for folk songs and ballads. His musical influence was derived from America's folk music of the 50's, 60's, and 70's and also greatly influenced particularly by artists like Jim Croce, Gordon Lightfoot, Simon and Garfunkel, John Denver, and two Mainers, David Mallett, and Gordon Bok. Dan has written over 120 songs, which range in subjects from love to political satire and protest, to history, and to nature. He currently resides with his family in East Cobb, Georgia.

Dan's friend, John Talbott, an accomplished banjo player, accompanies Dan with the song recording. I wish to thank these two talented and gifted musicians for their support and help in recording Lost Keel Mountain Gold for all to hear and enjoy.

This song is dedicated to the fine folks of Gurley and to the ancestors who preceded them. The preservation of a town's history and heritage is one of the most precious gifts we can leave those generations who will follow us. It is everyone's responsibility to keep it alive.
William Walker
January 2006

Contact Daniel Sachs
Telephone:  678-560-3140
Dan Sachs' Showcase

Lost Keel Mountain Gold

Some folks will swear this story’s true, when the Union army clad in blue,
Marched across the Madison County line.
They marched to Huntsville without a fight, and pitched their tents to spend the night,
And ended up in town a long, long time.

General Mitchell was a vane old man, and tough as hell, he took command,
The local folks despised this man so cold,
Well he conjured up a brazen plan, with a bold attempt to win their hand,
So he sent a troop to fetch some Union gold.

Union Gold, Union Gold, it’s the stuff that takes one’s soul,
Gonna buy the hearts and souls of Southern men,
Though the Feds were chased across the land,
By a pistol toting Rebel band,   
That gold must never leave those Union hands.

The band slipped out one winter day, through lone back roads
They made their way, across the line to Nashville, Tennessee.
They wrapped gold coins in silken rags, and loaded them in saddle bags,
Then tossed them on the back of a mule named Bee.

Well the troop slipped out of town so quiet, and used the cover
Of the darkest night, to skirt around the towns along the way,
As they made their way through Booneville Farm,
They heard a shot and shrill alarm, and saw a band of troopers clad in gray.

Across the Flint they splashed their way, and rode across a field of hay,
They knew they were getting close to Gurleyville.
Keel Mountain loomed up just ahead, and up the slope them Yankees fled,
They had to beat those Rebs up on that hill.


Those Johnny grays they didn’t stop, but pushed their horses to the top,
While bullets whizzed and buzzed around their heads,
A slug hit Bee right in the rump, she gave one jerk and began to slump,
And hit a tree and then rolled over dead.

A trooper grabbed the saddle bags all weighted down with gold and rags,
And tried to drag the load up on the hill.
But he took a slug and gave a pitch and slid right down inside a ditch,
And landed on the two bags as he fell.


But a strange thing happened on that day, Ole Reb, McCain came up that way,
And found the trooper laying in the ditch,
He opened the bags, to his surprise, saw rays of gold flash in his eyes,
And whooped with joy when he saw he struck it rich.


Now greed filled up his twisted mind, he decided not to share his find,
So he grabbed the bags and tossed them in a hole,
And he covered it up with dirt and leaves, to hide the gold from other thieves,
And smiled as he shivered from the cold.

As fate would play a familiar role, McCain got shot, as the story goes,
He caught a Union slug near Paint Rock Spring.
With a feverish mind he tried to tell, of the Union gold hid up on Keel,
But he died before he ever said a thing.


Keel Mountain is real, and Gurleyville, but legends grow, as time will tell,
Old soldiers die, and stories pass untold,
And you may wonder if it’s just a line, from a dying Rebel’s fading mind,
The legend of the Lost Keel Mountain Gold.

Union Gold, Union Gold, it’s is the stuff that takes one’s soul,
Gonna buy the hearts and souls of Southern men,
Though the Feds were chased across the land,
By a pistol toting Rebel band,
The gold was lost and never seen again
The gold was lost and never seen again.

They made their way back along the same direct route that would take them near the towns of Murfreesboro, Shelbyville, and Fayetteville.
The thought of bounty or payroll was all the incentive the rebels needed to move fast and take up a vigorous pursuit.

a courier unit at Union headquarters in Nashville and transport the gold shipment back to Huntsville

William Walker 2005

Read the story of the The Legend of the Lost Gold of Keel Mountain

Published on this site January 17 2006