A Confederate time capsule about 121 years old has been found, but most of the content has been reduced to mud. This week, workers started digging up the Confederate Monument located at the University of Louisville campus in Kentucky.
The impressive Civil War monument was ordered to be moved by Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer. It will cost the city almost one million dollars to move the statue from the university to Brandenburg where it will be used in the city’s Civil War re-enactments.
The 70-foot-tall memorial was erected in 1895 after a generous donation from the Kentucky Women’s Confederate Monument Association. During the second day of dismantling the monument, workers found a box containing mud and water.
According to historians, the capsule was supposed to have several items related to the Civil War that have links to “the South’s great men and her lost cause.” Inside the box, officials had placed a cigar smoked by Confederate President Jefferson Davis and a sketch of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
A scarf that was worn by Davis’ secretary, Confederate currency valued at several thousand of dollars, Confederate soldier badges, a Bible, and memoirs written during the Civil were also placed in the vintage brass box.
A photograph of Susan Hepburn, who collected funds to build the monument, was in the capsule. It appears that the box was not properly sealed and over the years, rainwater poured in and destroyed almost everything.
Experts are planning to dig through the muddy content to see if anything can be saved. Fischer tweeted:
“We retrieved the time capsule from under the Confederate Monument today; unfortunately water infiltrated the brass box, destroyed contents.”
Sarah Lindgren, the Public Art Administrator for the Metro Louisville Archives, who opened the capsule, explained:
“It’s hard to say at this point whether the box was sealed at all. It certainly isn’t now and pieces are falling apart.”
Lindgren said whatever is salvaged will be given to the Filson Historical Society where they will be part of an exhibition.