Auction house won't sell Civil War soldier's skull amid protests

Opponents call the attempt to sell a piece of an American soldier an act of "desecration."
By Matt Bradwell   |   June 3, 2014 at 7:23 PM
| License Photo

GETTYSBURG, Pa., June 3 (UPI) -- Written protests from Civil War and military historians have halted a Pennsylvania auction house's plan to sell a skull recovered in 1949 from the site of the Battle of Gettysburg.

The remains were donated late Monday and were to go to auction as soon as they were verified. Upon announcing receiving the skull along with other artifacts, Pennsylvania-based Estate Auction Co. recieved a wave of emails and inquiries calling the potential sale tasteless and insensitive.

"I can't think of anything more grotesque or disrespectful than auctioning off the remains of a soldier who may have been one of those, as Lincoln put it, who gave their lives that the nation might live," emailed historian Harold Holzer.

"I find this auction most distasteful," echoed another email from executive director of the Ulysses S. Grant Association John Marszalek.

"Every human being deserves a respectful burial. If we consider battlefields to be hallowed grounds, what do we believe about the individuals who died there?"

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