During, and for 57 years after the Civil War, a group of Confederate oficers and government officials participated in a secret organization called the Knights of the Golden Circle.
Their goal was to obtain and conceal large amounts of gold, silver, and weapons to be used to fight a second Civil War.
The Golden Circle amassed huge quantities of precious metals and hid them in over 500 caches all over the contiguous 48 states. Operations to acquire more treasures officially ceased and the caches were sealed for good in 1922.
The aging and rapidly dwindling survivors finally accepted the reality that their long planned and preparation for a "second Civil War" was not going to occur in their lifetime.
To protect the larger caches from being pilfered by unauthorized persons, the Golden Circle used ex-Confederate ordanance men to construct black powder booby-traps in the sealed caves and tunnels where the gold and silver were hidden. The caches so protected were then marked at their entrance with the symbol of a red hand. The caches not booby-trapped were marked with two black hands.
These deadly devices were cleverly constructed and protected against moisture. Since black powder gets stronger with age, the potential for disaster for some unsuspecting treasure hunter is even greater today. Only those members of the Golden Circle, now long-dead, knew how to open these caches safely.