A theft in Annapolis: Securing your rare relics protects your heritage
DC Civil War Heritage Examiner
August 29, 2011
Our recent coverage of Civil War bullets being found in a downed Witness Tree at Gettysburg elicited a number of questions on what the actual projectiles looked like. Our follow-up article described and illustrated the three-ringed minie ball most commonly associated with the Union Army as well as the two-ringed Gardner bullet used by Confederates. To illustrate the wide variation in these war relics, we included a photograph of eight rare French minies, sporting their iconic triangular bases. What we did not report was that these particular, highly collectible bullets command up to $45 each in unfired, dug condition.
Now comes news of a burglary in Annapolis last week in which an estimated $68,000 worth of Civil War memorabilia was stolen.
According to police, someone slipped in through the victim’s sliding-glass door and made off with a briefcase of highly collectible Confederate items, including $52,000 in CSA certificates as well as highly collectible belt buckles, buttons, and tintype photographs worth an additional $16,000. Stolen between last Tuesday morning and Wednesday evening, this seems to have been a targeted theft as police report nothing else taken.
Surprised? Didn’t know Civil War memorabilia could be worth such money?
For purposes of illustration, we visited a modest collection in the bank safety deposit box and photographed a few of the rarer items, as pictured at left. We include descriptions and estimated appraisal values for each relic illustrated. All were excavated on private property — with permission — in Maryland, Virginia, or West Virginia in the last three decades.
We urge you to not only revere, but protect your heritage … especially those special, tangible treasures, be they from the Civil War … or otherwise.
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