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SOUTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY, MO. (KTVI) – Four guns that were part of a history exhibit about the Civil War have been stolen from the site at Jefferson Barracks. Organizers have gotten police involved, and have even taken to Facebook, in an effort to get them back.
The theft happened sometime prior to last Wednesday. The exhibit, entitled “The Civil War in the West,” had been going on in the Ordinance Room at Jefferson Barracks since February. It was set to end November 4th.
It was last Wednesday, as organizers were packing the various historic items away, when they discovered the pistols were gone.
On the Jefferson Barracks Historic Site’s Facebook page they said, “We were closing up / putting away the last exhibit, (Civil War in the West), and we noticed 4 pistols missing.”
A little over a mile away, where the new Missouri Civil War Museum is still under construction, experts there are perplexed. They have no firsthand knowledge of these guns, but they also know there’s very little a thief could do with them. These are not what you would use to knock over a liquor store.
“No these are not the most efficient guns to use,” Gary Stevens of the Museum said,” and they’re obviously identifiable.”
Identifiable because of their age, and the fact the serial numbers of three of the four are recorded and even visible in photos of the weapons posted on Facebook. That would make them nearly impossible to sell, if that’s what a thief had in mind.
“I don’ t know what they’d be doing with them,” Stevens said.
Stevens says the pistols could be worth thousands of dollars, depending on their age, how early in production they were made, and if they can be tied to the specific civil war soldiers that used them. But he says the far greater value is to museums and historical displays.
“It’s a shame. This is a piece of American history now that’s been found and now it’s gone missing. Someone took it,” he said.
No one from the “Civil War in the West” exhibit could be reached for direct comment, though a spokesperson for St. Louis County did confirm the circumstances surrounding the thefts.
According to the Facebook page, the missing weapons and their serial numbers are as follows:
Navy Colt pocket model 1851, serial # 197044
Army Colt model 1860, serial # 19272
Remington, serial # 48038
Facebook page for Jefferson Barracks Historic Site.