State officials, private collector dispute ownership of letters from Confederate general - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

State officials, private collector dispute ownership of letters from Confederate general

(Columbia-AP) Aug. 22, 2004 - Collectors and historians are keeping a close eye on South Carolina's attempt to obtain more than 440 letters and records from the Civil War.

Thomas Law Willcox was trying to sell the letters he got from his great-great-uncle Evander McIver Law, a general with the Confederate Army. However, South Carolina officials say the documents were part of the state archive because the law at the time of the war required that all public documents be preseved.

The papers have an estimated value of $2.4 million. The sale was put on hold after Willcox filed for bankruptcy last week.

Outside collectors worry that if South Carolina is successful, it might go after other such collections and artifacts. State officials say they approach equipment differently than records so people should not worry.

Posted 5:20pm by Chantelle Janelle

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