NASA helping unlock mystery of 14-year-old Union knapsack - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

NASA helping unlock mystery of 14-year-old Union knapsack

(Columbia-AP) May 3, 2004 -- Historians hope a NASA scientist can help solve the mystery of who owned a rare Union knapsack from the Civil War. A name stenciled in the inside flap is difficult to read.

Art Ruitberg took infrared photos of the bag Monday. He says the ink often used back then shows up better under the special light.

The knapsack has been in South Carolina's Confederate Relic Room and Museum since at least 1904 when Confederate Private Oscar Chappell donated it. But, it got mislabeled and it was nearly a century before anyone found out about it.

Chappell's great-grandson is eager to solve the mystery of the bag his grandfather found on a Virginia battlefield 140 years ago. He still lives in his great-grandfather's house on 400 acres about 20 miles north of Columbia.

Posted 9:01pm by BrettWitt

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