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Civil War museum to showcase severed arm for Halloween

FREDERICK, Md. -- The National Museum of Civil War Medicine in Frederick is featuring a well-preserved human arm from the Antietam battlefield as part of a Halloween event.

Museum officials are releasing new information Thursday from forensic and historical investigations of the limb. It was donated to the museum in 2012 after having been displayed for decades as a roadside attraction near Sharpsburg, on the edge of the battlefield.

Bodies of fallen troops and a crashed gun lie on the field after the Battle of Antietam, the bloodiest one-day battle of the American Civil War, near Sharpsburg, Md. in this Sept. 17, 1862 file photo. AP Photo/Mathew B. Brady, File

Curator Lori Eggleston says researchers haven't identified the male owner of the arm but they know his approximate age and region of origin.

Museum officials have speculated the arm was torn from a soldier's body by a bullet or artillery round.

According to The Frederick News-Post, museum curator Lori Eggleston said that one theory about the arm's history is that a farmer found the limb after the Battle of Antietam in 1862. He then put it in a jar with brine and six months later, he gave it to a surgeon who kept it in a formaldehyde solution.

The newspaper reports that the limb has been dubbed "The Arm of the Unknown Soldier."

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