Severed arm grabs spotlight at Civil War museum

AP News
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Posted: Oct 30, 2014 4:34 PM
Severed arm grabs spotlight at Civil War museum

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) — A well-preserved human forearm purportedly found shortly after the 1862 Battle of Antietam is grabbing the Halloween spotlight at the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.

The naturally mummified relic went on display Thursday as the centerpiece of the Maryland museum's "Behind the Screams" Halloween tour. Museum officials also released findings of a scientific and historical investigation.

Smithsonian Institution anthropologists couldn't identify the arm's owner or determine its authenticity as a battlefield relic. They say it belonged to a white male of about 16 who probably was from the New York-Pennsylvania-Ohio area, based on forensic evidence of his diet.

The arm was donated to the Civil War museum in 2012. It had been displayed for decades at a roadside museum in Sharpsburg as "The Arm of the Unknown Soldier."