A skull found at Gettysburg back in 1949 is believed to have belonged to a soldier killed during the infamous battle. Most recently, a private seller was planning to auction the skull off. As you can imagine, some found the idea rather disrespectful and requested the skull be given to the Gettysburg cemetery for a proper burial. Those requests did not fall on deaf ears.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the planned auction for the Gettysburg skull has been canceled. Instead, the skull has been donated to the Gettysburg Foundation where the remains will be given a proper burial at the cemetery. A reason was not given for the sudden cancellation that came a day before the planned auction, but it’s pretty safe to assume the controversy scared off the still private seller.
“We are thankful to have the opportunity to honor what is very likely an American veteran and have his final resting place recognized,” Ed W. Clark, superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park, said in a statement to the Post-Gazette “The outpouring of support, passion and concern from American citizens made the difference and a positive outcome was achieved.”
Before the skull can be buried, the Gettysburg Foundation will conduct a few tests to determine if the skull belonged to a soldier. When the skull was originally found in 1949, a breastplate belonging to a Confederate soldier was also found near it. The location of the find – a former Confederate field hospital – also lends credence to its authenticity. Still, the Gettysburg Foundation wants to be 100 percent sure that it’s honoring a war veteran and not just the skull of a random human.
If the skull is found to be genuine, the Gettysburg Foundation will turn it over to the Gettysburg National Military Park where it will be buried at the Soldiers’ National Cemetery will full honors. It’s a fitting end for what may be the last Civil War remains we’ll find for quite some time as the latest burial of remains took place in 1996.
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