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The sale of a Civil War soldier's skull has been stopped

Gettysburg Soldiers Cemetary
Gettysburg Soldiers Cemetary Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

The 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg was last year. Despite the profits made by many memorializing the historic battle, some business people have been trying to capitalize on the soldier's deaths. Estate Auction of Hershey, Pennsylvania had listed the skull as an item to be auctioned yesterday in Hagerstown, Maryland. The announcement by the auction company to sell the skull was made last week. A huge public outcry, which included a number of vocal Gettysburg Park Service employees, and others, demanding that the skull not be sold, has forced the auction company to change their plan. Additionally, there were threats of a riot at the hotel that was to host the auction. Estate Auction Company has now decided to donate the skull to the Gettysburg Foundation.

The skull was originally found in 1949 on a farm that served as a Confederate hospital during the battle. The auction house had hoped to sell the skull for between $50,000 and $250,000.

Many have expressed their horror at the thought of selling the remains of a soldier. Harold Holzer, author and Lincoln expert, described the auction of the skull in this way, said "I can't think of anything more grotesque or disrespectful."

Once the skull has been authenticated the remains will be buried with full military honors in the Gettysburg Soldiers Cemetery.

Over 45,000 soldiers either lost their lives, or were wounded in the Battle of Gettysburg. It took place on the days July 1, 2 and 3rd 1863 and is remembered as the turning point of the Civil War.