ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The water-soaked time capsule that was unearthed from the Confederate monument in Forest Park this summer is about to tell its story.
It’s filled with letters from people as young at 8 years old, historic medals and artifacts which still relate to current events.
Mark Trout, CEO of the Missouri Civil War Museum, says usually time capsules were put below cornerstones, where they’re easy to find, but this one was at the center of monument under 200,000 pounds of granite.
“You kind of wonder, what were they thinking?” Trout says. “When they put that down there, they obviously knew that in the future – you know, they built this monument to last forever. And it had to be going through their mind that, ‘Whoever someone finds this, something terrible has happened to our monument.'”
The contents will be unveiled Saturday night at the Jefferson Barracks Museum’s annual fundraiser, then it will be put on display for the public in about a month.
Trout says conservators in Kansas City have salvaged most of the paper items, including a letter from a Gettysburg soldier wounded on the battlefield in Pickett’s division. The letters say the man was wounded twice, Trout says. Pickett’s division is well-known as Maj. Gen. George Pickett’s failed attempt to take control during the Battle of Gettysburg.
Also in the capsule was a speech written by an 8-year-old boy, and messages written by other war veterans.
Trout says conservators in Kansas City were able to salvage most of the paper so that it’s readable — the paper was a “glob of goo” when it was found in standing water.
But what stands out most Trout says, are two metal objects.
“There’s one very special metal in there,” Trout says. “There’s a very special medal and a very special medallion. The medallion actually relates to a situation going on today. So it’s going to be an interesting thing what peoples’ take is on that one.”
Trout wouldn’t elaborate further on the “special” medals.
Multiple Confederate monuments around the U.S. are being removed, including in Baltimore, Charlottesville, Virginia, Durham, North Carolina, and Gainesville, Florida. In many cases, the protesting against the removal of monuments has led to violent situations.
The copper box was found submerged in water below a concrete pad, underneath the monument in Forest Park this past June.