Joyce Yarde bought a copy of The Siege of Kenilworth that once belonged to Union soldier J.C. Sample.
When curiosity about the book’s plot led Yarde to turn a few pages into it, she found an inscription penned by Sample in 1863.
“Captured from the Blount House Little Washington North Carolina in June 1863,” the inscription reads. It is signed “J.C. Sample Corps G 168 P.V.I.”
That sent Yarde, a self-professed history buff, on a quest to return the “captured” property in her possession to its rightful owner, if one were living and if she could find him or her. She Googled “Little Washington, North Carolina” and came up with Blount Rumley, director of the N.C. Estuarium. A few weeks of e-mail correspondence ensued and, confident that she had at least found someone who could point her and the book in the right direction, she mailed the book to Rumley. [Link]