This is my Boigraphy as is posted on the website for PBS's Antiques Roadshow. Since 2003 I have appeared as an expert in the field of Amrs & Armor for the show. You can check out thier wesbite at WWW.PBS.ORG/ANTIQUES .
Rafael Eledge is one of the country's most active and knowledgeable experts of Civil War and 19th-century militaria. Mr. Eledge's career began at the ripe age of 11, when he received his first metal detector and began searching around his home state of Tennessee for Civil War artifacts. He continued to gain knowledge and expertise as he attended trade shows, buying and selling pieces to support himself through college.
After graduation, Mr. Eledge fulfilled his childhood dream of owning a Civil War relic shop and museum. Shiloh Civil War Relics was opened in 1995 just to the north of the main entrance to Shiloh National Military Park in west Tennessee. Shortly thereafter, Shiloh Relics.com was born, and Mr. Eledge moved military antiques and arms collecting into the 21st century. For 13 years he ran a 2,400-square-foot retail shop in addition to Shilohrelics.com which is one of the Internet's most visited Civil War Web sites. In the Spring of 2008 the business went to an internet and show only based business to allow Mr. Eledge to spend more time with his family. ShilohRelics.com is one of the busiest retail websites on the internet and the site has active inventory that rivals some of the nation's best museums.
Having such success with Shiloh Relics has afforded Mr. Eledge the opportunity to do consultations for museums and national parks, as well as for books and magazines. He is highly regarded by his peers for his knowledge of artifacts of the American Civil War.
Even though Mr. Eledge's knowledge covers all aspects of pre-1900 militaria, his current passion is Civil War cannons, implements and ammunition. Having owned 15 original Civil War cannons and more than 1,000 projectiles, he is currently in the process of developing a manuscript on cannons used in the Battle of Shiloh during the American Civil War. Aside from his dedication to his business and family, he is also concerned with the preservation of our nation's artifacts and supports many such efforts.
We metal detected one of Hank's old stomping ground in Nashville and found this U.S. cartridge box plate.
Hank is a big fan of Civil War artifacts and is very knowledgeable on almost any gun out there. This is an original iron model 1819 cannon we acquired together out of the Mike Miner collection.
After we taped the Antiques Roadshow in Honolulu my beautiful wife Lori and I spent a couple of days on the North Shore of the island at Turtle Bay Resort.
The one on the right is a little R&R at the restaurant by the bay. Great sushi by the way.
The one on the left is just before sundown. This is a wonderful place I never thought selling relics would let me see.
Every year that I can I make it to the Marietta Civil War show in Marietta, Georgia.
Here are a couple of pics from the show.
On the left is my oldest daughter Reagan that helps me at shows some times. Here we are at the 2008 Marietta, Georgia relic show put on by the North Georgia Relics Hunters Association. She is holding a Confederate Made revolvers we sold from the Dance Brothers worth about $65,000.
The one on the right shows me with a couple of good friends. Tim Price is the owner of College Hill Arsenal in Nashville and an expert on antique guns. The other guy is my friend Chris Mitchell. If he looks familiar it is because he and I have appeared on the Antiques Roadshow for several season as experts in the field of Arms & Militia.
Here are a couple of views of our old storefront beside Shiloh Park we closed in 2008 so we could dedicate more time to ShilohRelics.com
For 13 years Lori and I ran a full-time Civil War storefront business. It was located adjacent to Shiloh National Military Park in Shiloh, Tennessee. The shop was very good to us both. It also held many fond memories and tons of great artifacts over the years.
This is the interior view of Shiloh relics. We sold everything from bullets and t-shirts to authentic cannon. It was 2,400 square feet of history. When we decided to leave the shop we sold the building and land to the Civil War Preservation trust so it could be given to Shiloh Park. They do great work and is one organization worthy of donating to.
This is another couple of pictures from our trip to Hawaii. After we taped the Antiques Roadshow we spent a couple of days up on the North Shore. I have always had a fear of the ocean and of Sharks. I thought what better way to get over them both than diving with the sharks in the ocean. It works. We went only about 3 miles off the coast (yes that it right that is the coast line you see in the background.) They dropped the cage and in just a few minutes we were surrounded by about 30 or 40 Galapagos sharks that measures about 3 feet to 8 or 9 feet in length. It was a great experience!