Sunday, March 11, 2007

Update: Civil War Documents Returned

In early September I posted about some Civil War records which had been stolen from a display at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library (NC). Today there's good news to report: a McClatchy wire service dispatch notes that the exhibit curator, Shelia Bumgarner, said the documents had been placed anonymously in her mailbox and were discovered on Friday.

"Bumgarner said she was recently approached by someone who said he knew where the documents were, and that they had been taken by someone who believed the exhibit glorified the Civil War - which wasn't her intent, she said. 'I'm sorry the person was offended,' she said. 'I wish they had come to me and talked to me about it and we had tried to work it out.'"

Friday, Bumgarner found an envelope in her box. Inside was a copy of "Philadelphia Trumpet" magazine. A note was on the front, telling her to look through the entire magazine. The documents were in a manila envelope between the pages."

The documents - "a hand-written furlough for a Confederate soldier and a certificate of medical examination of a slave" - are owned by author Walt Hilderman, who believes their theft was connected with his controversial book They Went Into the Fight Cheering: Confederate Conscription in North Carolina.