During the restoration of the statue, created in 1887, archaeologists unexpectedly discovered that a mysterious box was hidden at its base. This unique discovery aroused considerable interest, based on the assumption that it could contain valuable historical artifacts. Therefore, it was decided to immediately open it, and the entire process was recorded on video to capture the moment when the mysterious box was unsealed.
The container was hidden under a pedestal and its discovery prompted the immediate involvement of experts, among whom the leading archaeologist was Kate Ridgway. Experts initially doubted that anything could have remained inside the container, given exposure to moisture over the years.
The box was opened with great care, and to everyone’s surprise, it perfectly preserved the artifacts it contained from the 19th century. Among them were minutes of meetings of the local Masonic lodge, a Masonic symbol, as well as several copies of newspapers and even bullets from those times. However, it was the hermetically sealed stack of documents that attracted the most attention.
Water penetrated this particular package, and restoring the more than 130-year-old records will require many months of careful research and restoration work.
Historians currently have no plans to release the contents of the documents, perhaps due to the public sensitivity of the information, especially since the box was hidden under a statue of a general with ties to the Confederacy.