Gettysburg skull to finally be buried, as it should be
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
6/4/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
An auction house has decided to cancel the sale of a skull recovered years ago on the Gettysburg battlefield. A massive public outcry was key to the decision. The skull will now be authenticated and buried with military honors.
The skull was to be auctioned off with other memorabilia. The identity of the soldier remains unknown.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In 1949, a Gettysburg resident tilling a new garden unearthed a skill in a shallow grave. The skull was kept and preserved and eventually given to the Estate Auction Company for auction. Its listing prompted a public outcry. The auction house has now agreed to give up the skull so it can be buried.
The skull is believed to belong to a civil war soldier who perished during the battle and was on offer along with a number of other original artifacts from the battlefield. Although scavengers have had 150 years to collect items from the field, many still remains because the battle was so large and wide-ranging. Many soldiers were buried near where they fell, either individually and often in mass graves which were never marked.
The public became aware of the skull when the Estate Auction Co. of Hershey, PA listed it in its catalog for sale. A public outcry followed and despite an initial resistance the auction house agreed to hand over the skull to the National Parks Service and a local non-profit dedicated to battlefield preservation.
The Park Service says the skull will now be buried with military honors.
The battle of Gettysburg is one of the most infamous battles in American history and was fought over July 1-3, 1863 as about 150,000 troops of both the Union and Confederate armies clashed in an epic battle that marked the turning point of the Civil War in the Eastern Theater.
About 50,000 soldiers became casualties, with 8,000 of those killed in action, making it the bloodiest battle in American history. The battlefield is wide-ranging and many private homes and development sprawl over the land where thousands fought for the future of the country. Although it is believed most of the dead are buried in the Gettysburg National Cemetery, mass graves certainly exist across the area as the dead were hastily buried following the battle. Abraham Lincoln gave his famous Gettysburg Address at the dedication of the cemetery.
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