Civil War Records Stolen from Library Exhibit
This appeared in today's edition of the American Libraries Direct.
A thief took two Civil War documents from a sealed case at the main
branch of the Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, North
Carolina, the weekend of August 26.
The display case, which has since been removed, was sealed by screws.
Two staff members could see the display from their desks but were often
away helping patrons.
"I can only say that maybe [the documents] offended someone, or maybe
they thought they were worth a whole lot of money," said Archivist
Sheila Bumgarner, who curated the exhibit, in the August 31 Charlotte
Observer. The items, a handwritten furlough for a Confederate soldier
and a certificate of medical examination for a slave, had a combined
value of about $400, according to the library. However, other documents
left behind in the exhibit were more valuable.
Retired police captain Walt Hilderman, who loaned the documents to the
library, said that the thief could have been motivated by controversy
stemming from his split with the group Sons of Confederate Veterans and
a book he had written on conscription in the Confederacy, They Went
the Fight Cheering. "Those documents were specifically targeted for
theft for a reason," he told the paper. "Whether there was some
political threat involved . . . is all a possibility."