Skip to comments.Union knapsack holds 140-year-old mystery
Posted on 05/04/2004 4:19:51 AM PDT by stainlessbanner
(Columbia-AP) May 3, 2004 -- Historians hope a NASA scientist can help solve the mystery of who owned a rare Union knapsack from the Civil War. A name is stenciled in the inside flap is difficult to read.
Art Ruitberg took infrared photos of the bag Monday. He says the ink often used back then shows up better under the special light.
The knapsack has been in South Carolina's Confederate Relic Room and Museum since at least 1904 when Confederate Private Oscar Chappell donated it. But it got mislabeled and it was nearly a century before anyone found out about it.
Chappell's great-grandson is eager to solve the mystery of the bag his grandfather had found on a Virginia battlefield 140 years ago. He still lives in his great-grandfather's house on 400 acres about 20 miles north of Columbia.