December 27, 2011
This photograph provided by the Library of Virginia shows a makeshift valentine, which is among the 25,000 mementoes the Library of Virginia has scanned as archivists travel the state seeking documents, letters and diaries dating to the Civil War. This valentine, stitched together in a basket weave, was from Robert H. King to his wife Louiza A. Williams King. Robert King was killed in the war in 1862. Virginia is among a number of states attempting to collect Civil War documents that are in the possession of families, tucked away in trunks and attics.
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From New England to the South, state archivists are using the sesquicentennial of the Civil War to collect a trove of wartime letters, diaries, documents and mementos that have gathered dust in attics and basements.