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Mummies of Wye Mills was thought that the coffin had been filled with a preserving gas or fluid to prevent putrefaction. The iron coffin was in very good shape, except that a foul smelling liquid started leaking out. Its ornate motif, a type introduced in 1853, was wholesaled to funeral directors for $21. A small fortune then, so whomever was inside must have been somebody! But there was a problem. Several of the original eyewitnesses agreed that this was neither the coffin, nor the corpse, that they had seen in 1934. So who was the man? Since Fisk coffins were used during the Civil

War to ship officers home who had been killed in action, many assumed that the man was a soldier and that his face showed a wound or wounds that could have been caused by a musket ball or bayonet. It was expected that a professional from the Smithsonian would be in attendance to properly examine the body, but that did not happen, and by the terms of the court order for the exhumation, the coffin was reburied unopened and unexamined. A few people are still speculating who it is. It is not known that any Civil War officer, or even soldier was buried there. But not only are there no cemetery records, there are no tombstones either, except

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June 2014 ttimes web magazine  

Tidewater Times June 2014