Historians opened a second time capsule recovered at the former site of the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, on Tuesday.

So far, the contents appear to match a list of dozens of items in an 1887 newspaper article, including a piece of wood with a bullet in it, a Confederate button, and papers described as the constitution and bylaws of Lee Camp, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Roughly 60 items, largely related to the Confederacy, were expected to be inside the time capsule. Among them, according to a 1887 article in the Richmond Dispatch, was a picture of President Abraham Lincoln in his coffin.

While there had been speculation that it could be a rare photo of Lincoln in his casket, historians have only reported so far finding a printed image from Harper's Weekly from 1865 showing a woman grieving over Lincoln's casket, according to the Washington Post.


The contents of the time capsule are still being slowly removed by Virginia Department of Historic Resources workers. Water had seeped into the box, making the removal of the items difficult.

Lee Statue Time Capsule
The lead conservator for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, Kate Ridgway, in black, works with other conservators on a box believed to be a time capsule left in the pedestal at the former site of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Sarah Rankin)

The second time capsule was found Monday afternoon under the statue's pedestal, less than a week after another one was found on Dec. 22 in the pedestal that did not match what historians were expecting. Julie Langan, the director and state historic preservation officer at DHR, told the Washington Examiner that the department is "quite confident that it is the elusive time capsule" reported on in the 1887 article in the Richmond Dispatch.

Additionally, Langan said the department believes the first time capsule found was more personal in nature and was left as a memento by those involved in the construction of the Lee statue. The contents of the first capsule included two books, a coin, and a cloth envelope containing a photograph of a man involved in the design of the statue's pedestal.


The Lee statue, which was taken down on Sept. 8, was the final Confederate statue along Richmond's Monument Avenue.