Book Missing Since Civil War Returned to Virginia School

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 15, 2009 7:06 PM CDT
A handout photo released Tuesday, April 14, 2009, by Washington and Lee University shows a library book nearly 145 years after it was stolen by a Union soldier.   (AP Photo/Washington and Lee University)

(Newser) – A Virginia college has a missing library book back—145 years after a Union soldier stole it during the Civil War. An Illinois man who inherited the book from friends tracked down the original owner and returned it to Washington and Lee University in Lexington, reports the Washington Post. The soldier looted it in 1864 when Union troops raided the college and the adjacent Virginia Military Institute.

"We were astounded to get something back with the history that it has," said a librarian at the school. The book is the second volume of a military history about the Napoleonic wars, and the school now has the first two volumes. "Volumes three and four are out there somewhere," said the librarian. "We'd love to have them back!"