Civil War skull taken off auction block

June 3, 2014

Public concern and criticism of the planned auction Tuesday in Hagerstown, Md., of a Civil War skull led to the auctioneer pulling it from the sale late Monday.

The skull, found on a Gettysburg farm in 1949 and recently consigned to the auction house, was then offered by its owner to the Gettysburg Foundation, which accepted it, according to a news release from Gettysburg National Military Park.

The owner of the skull did not want to be named.

The foundation and the National Park Service will work to authenticate the remains, and if the skull did come from a Civil War soldier, it will recieve a proper military burial at Gettysburg National Cemetery.

Estates Auctions of Hershey, Pa., which had organized the sale and promoted interest in the skull, was reportedly overwhelmed by the public outrage concerning the sale, and the hotel where the auction was to take place received threats of a riot if the skull was put on the auction block.

The remains were transferred to the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitors Center, operated by the nonprofit foundation, and are now safely in storage.

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