Judge rules Confederate letters belong to state - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Judge rules Confederate letters belong to state

(Columbia-AP) Aug. 16, 2005 - A judge has ruled that a collection of rare, Civil War-era letters belong to the state.

The state sued after Charleston resident Thomas Willcox tried to auction off more than 400 letters he has had in his family for generations. Willcox filed for bankruptcy soon after.

Many of the letters are correspondence between generals or the Confederate government and South Carolina Governors Francis Pickens and Milledge Bonham during the Civil War. Three are written by Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

The bankruptcy judge ruled Monday that the letters deal with the official duties of the governor and therefore are public records.

State Attorney General Henry McMaster says it's important to preserve the letters because they represent an historic and turbulent period in the state.

Willcox's attorney, Kenneth Krawcheck, says his client probably will appeal.

Posted 4:20pm by Chantelle Janelle

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