SPRINGFIELD, Ill, (IRN) — A copper sword stolen two months ago from atop Abraham Lincoln’s tomb in Springfield has been recovered.

A 16-year-old boy, whose name won’t be released, told investigators the sword came loose when he grabbed it, and it fell to the ground breaking into two pieces. It was returned to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency during a news conference at Springfield Police headquarters Tuesday.

Catherine Shannon, the agency’s acting director, says she was shocked to learn the sword has been recovered, and doesn’t know if it’ll be repaired.

“We do appreciate the citizen who came forward. We actually had a couple of people offering to replace the sword for free,” she says. “We were very grateful for that.”

Police say a series of tips led investigators to the boy, who has been charged with theft and criminal trespassing. Springfield Police Chief Robert Williams says security has been increased at the cemetery for now, but the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency says its budget is getting smaller, and permanent enhancements probably won’t be possible.

The sword held by the statue of a Civil War soldier has been stolen once before, in 1890.

Related Article:
Vandals Strike Lincoln’s Tomb, Steal Copper Sword

Copyright Illinois Radio Network

Comments (29)
  1. Allen says:

    Glad to hear the sword has been recovered, even if it is now broken.

    Since some people were willing to donate a replacement, I’m sure raising funds to repair it (as well as finding a way to permanently attach it to the statue) would be no problem.

    Maybe the Department of Homeland Security could give up some of their snow cone machines to help fund the repair: http://www.wzzm13.com/news/article/188877/14/Montcalm-County-gets-homeland-security-snow-cone-machine

  2. David says:

    A decent ending, could have been worse.

  3. psg613 says:

    Porbably related to Blago

    1. JeddMcHead says:

      Yeah, “porbably”.

  4. Edward says:

    ‘…..the budget is getting smaller…..’ Not enough money to protect the monument but those underworked, grossly overpaid bureaucrats & politicians would not take a cut in salary or benefits for anything. Apparently there is just enough money for them. Forget everything else; as long as they are paid.

  5. Illinois says:

    Cool…a Christmas miracle! This 16 year old will forever be haunted by Mr. Lincoln! I couldn’t live with that on my head. He may even be visited by Mr. Lincoln on Christmas Eve.

    1. Everyday Guy says:

      And DR’s mom is blowing Hitler in hell.

  6. Snarky Malarkey says:

    Better headline: “16 Year-Old Falls On Fallen Sword”

  7. Joe says:

    This sounds like the Simpsons episode, when Bart cut off the head of Jedediah Springfield.

  8. MrCymatics says:

    Before the birth of Arthur, Merlin is said to have put the sword into the stone and locked it there until the true ruler of Britain comes to remove it. So send the boy to Britain becasue lord knows they need a real ruler………Duh……..

  9. rufus levin says:

    Why does Lincoln HAVE a sword anyway….he NEVER dressed in military garb, or went into a battle….makes no sense for his character. If MLK Jr statue doesn’t have a firehose or a police dog on it, Lincoln needs NO SWORD either.

    1. ChristaJeanne says:

      It’s held by a Civil War soldier who’s also on the tomb, not by Lincoln himself.

    2. Balthazar says:

      Lincoln doesn’t have a sword. If you read the article, it clearly states “The sword held by the statue of a Civil War soldier”

    3. Bob from VA says:


      Actually, Lincoln was in a military/militia outfit that was involved in fighting the indians in Indiana long before he became a politician, Not sure whether they had uniforms, though.


      1. Mark says:

        The blackhawk war Lincoln participated in took place in Illinois. And his militia unit never saw any action.

    4. Ralph Reagan says:

      Actually Lincoln did serve in a militia

  10. sailordude says:

    Nowadays young adults are probably scratching their foreheads and saying “who’s tomb”?

  11. jeb says:

    hahaha Jedediah Springfield! Yes! Hey, at least the kid felt bad and set things right. This also has a heavy ‘Sword and thee Stone’ vibe, or is it ‘Sorcerer and The Stone’? The kid might now have the superpowers of our founding fathers or something

  12. ontie1 says:

    Unacceptable action to have the sword retrived and then not want to repair it and put it back in it’s proper place. It can now be welded in place to prevent this type of vandalism from reocurring…why is P&S so lazy about this?

  13. celador2 says:

    All is well that ends well. Just a kid curious who got in over his head, broke it and was afaid to return it.

    I think he has learned a lesson.

  14. Patriot says:

    ontie1 “why is P&S so lazy about this?… This is “da gubmint”, not the real world. You or I, in private industry would get a qualified welder and in a day it would be repaired good as new, for less than $10K.. But the red tape involved in anything “da gubmint” does would make it cost millions. Why cant Americans everywhere see that “da gubmint” does not solve our problems? I dont agree with some of his views but I understand why Ron Paul is so popular today.

  15. James says:

    The child was too “scared”, too say anything about what happened. Well he should be held accountable in a way that maybe someday this young lad becomes a responsible adult, instead of somebody who looks the other way when something like this happens in the future.

  16. Nigh says:

    “the sword came loose in my hand”


  17. Christopher says:

    Now… I’m just asking a question here… since the sword has been there all this time, and came off when this teen touched it, does that mean he gets to be king?

  18. J Earl Ray says:

    The kids name is Lee Harvey Wilkes Hinckley Booth Jr.

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