Workers began moving parts of the Confederate Statue located in front of the Courthouse in downtown Shreveport over the weekend. Twin Blends Photography was there to document the process when a surprise emerged: a time capsule.
The statue, which has been there since 1905, is being moved to Pleasant Hill Battlefield Cemetery.
After taking a short break from the sun in the shade, the team was tipped off to the find by Micky Baker. Baker informed them they were chiseling something with a hammer after pulling off a section. The team immediately sent their drone back up into the air and was able to capture the moment it was removed from the statue.
They called Marty Loschen, curator at the Spring Street Museum as well as Bill Nichols, technical advisor with the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the owners of the monument.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy released an official statement on the discovery. They confirmed the contents will be preserved.
“Officers of Shreveport Chapter will be taking possession of what we call “a Memory Box” that has been found in the Caddo Parish Confederate Monument,” they shared. “The Memory Box will not be opened immediately; we will be waiting to open the box until we have expert conservation help for any fragile documents. “
The Confederate monument was the first outdoor sculpture in Caddo Parish. The discovery of the time capsule was expected as it was briefly mentioned in the newspapers at the time of its dedication in 1906.
“It might contain drawings and photographs from the sculptor, Frank Teich, detailing his artistic process in the realization of the chapter’s design. It might contain rosters of local Confederate units present at the time of surrender in 1865. It might contain newspapers of the time. There might be personal items of veterans who served-ribbons or medals. There might be papers that document the efforts of the United Confederate Veterans Leroy Stafford Camp and their women’s auxiliary, which became Shreveport Chapter, as they began collecting donations to construct a monument in 1891.”
The Shreveport Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy was the second chapter founded in Louisiana. The national organization was founded in 1898.
The group also believes it might contain a list of contributors to the monument fund. Half of the money was contributed by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and the other half was provided by citizens of the city and parish. At the time, it had parish-wide support. The monument costs $10,000 back in 1903. Adjusting for inflation, the cost would be just over $328,532 today.
In recent years, the statue’s controversial nature has meant it was deemed necessary to move it off the courthouse property and to its new home at the cemetery.
We’ll update this article with more details once the time capsule has been opened.