|(Tracy Evans, Monocacy National Battlefield)|
|(Courtesy of Perry Adams Antiques)|
A Confederate-issued Bible is on display at Monocacy National Battlefield in Maryland, where visitors can learn about the bullet that passed through it and wounded a Virginia soldier.
Pvt. Thomas Cox, a member of the Red House Volunteers, Company A, 21st Virginia Infantry, was captured on July 9, 1864, at the battlefield near Frederick, Md. The 33-year-old farmer from Carroll County died on Aug. 15, 1864, at a Baltimore hospital.
Tracy Evans, curator and park ranger at Monocacy, said this is the first time the Bible has formally been on display. The exhibit was opened in May and the volume is expected to be out for a few more months.
The small Bible is closed, but visitors can see a photograph of it when opened and read some messages that were written on its pages.
“It’s not completely falling apart but to display it open could potentially cause it to,” said Evans. “If we turn it to a certain page the binding is fragile and you don’t want to tear loose the binding.”
|Bible includes handwritten notations (Courtesy of Perry Adams Antiques)|
The Bible is remarkable in its own way. There’s a gaping hole in the center of the book left by the bullet. “We are thinking it must have gone in sideways,” Evans previously told the Picket, adding that is perhaps the reason Cox was not killed outright.
Cox asked a fellow prisoner at the squalid West Building’s Hospital in Baltimore to inscribe a message in his battered Bible.
“The ball that struck this book entered my left brest (sic) and came out of right – it saved instant death & will be the means of saving my soul. Thomas Cox,” reads the penciled writing on the margins of a few pages. On succeeding pages is written: “Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord.”
|(Monocacy National Battlefield)|
The park said the Bible is among the few items in its collection to have known Confederate provenance.
Cox said a conservationist examined the Bible and said it was best to keep it as is.
“It is a unique item,” she said. “I think people are interested in it because it has entries in it.”