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Pair arrested in theft of Civil War relics

January 6, 1998
Web posted at: 8:21 p.m. EST (0121 GMT)

PHILADELPHIA (CNN) -- Two Pennsylvania men suspected of stealing an estimated $2 million to $3 million worth of Civil War artifacts from a Philadelphia museum have been arrested, the FBI announced Tuesday.

The FBI said George Csizmazia, 56, a collector of Civil War memorabilia, and Earnest Medford, 48, a former custodian of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, stole more than 200 items over a 10-year period. Authorities said they found the missing artifacts at Csizmazia's Rutledge, Pennsylvania, home.

The valuable items included swords presented by the citizens of Philadelphia to Union Gen. George Meade after the Battle of Gettysburg; to Maj. Gen. David Birney in 1862; and to Maj. Gen. Andrew Humphreys in 1865.

A rifle made in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, around 1780 -- once owned by abolitionist John Brown -- also was among the items recovered.

At a Philadelphia news conference, the FBI said it had developed a crucial lead in the case at a major Civil War weapons show in Richmond, Virginia, last November.

The men were confronted two weeks ago and admitted their involvement, according to an FBI affidavit. The document says the custodian delivered the weapons to the collector and received about $7,000.


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