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Civil War-era book finally back in library

April 16, 2009 at 4:39 PM

LEXINGTON, Va., April 16 (UPI) -- Talk about an overdue fine: A book lost since Union soldiers raided a library during the Civil War was returned to a Virginia university 145 years late.

Most of the volumes taken from the Washington College library during the war between the states were returned soon after, The Washington Post reported Thursday.

But one -- a leather-bound book that was part of a four-volume history of a Napoleonic military campaign -- didn't make it back to the Lexington, Va., school, now Washington and Lee University, until February, the school's technical services librarian said Wednesday.

It was returned by a college coach from Illinois who inherited it from a Union soldier's descendants and then tracked down the library where it belonged.

"We were astounded to get something back with the history that it has," Laura Turner told the Post. "It's invaluable to us because of the historical connection to the university. We're just so grateful that he decided to return it."

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