A thrift store in Coleman received a historic surprise in a donated box

ABILENE, Texas (KRBC) - A historic document has been discovered at a thrift store in Coleman, Texas.

"Opening these packages that come in is kind of like Christmas, I think we're never gonna know whats inside one of them," said Nelda Copley, Manager of the Humane Society Thrift Store of Coleman County.

Copley said what she found inside a box dropped off this week was something very special.

"This is a document that was carried to Texas by some settlers after the Civil War that were fleeing the post-Civil War south," said McMurry history professor Don Frazier.

"It's a parole document, and it indicates the name of the soldier and the unit he was with," said Frazier.

The man to whom the certificate belongs was Private James King, a member of the Fourth Battalion of Georgia Sharpshooters.

"In early May, he walked into the provost marshalls office in Augusta, Georgia, looked for the guy with the highest rank on his shoulders in the blue suit and said [he's] done with the Confederate army," said Frazier.

According to the Augusta Historical Society, Private James King was not alone the day he received his parole slip. An article written by the Augusta Constitionalist stated: "A degree of haste, almost indecent, was manifested yesterday at [district headquarters] by the crowd seeking paroles."

Professor Frazier said this particular document may not necesarily have as much monetary value as it does historical value.

"It does give you a brief little glimpse into the life of a particular Confederate soldier and what's important about that is that gives you a launching point to where you can go back and check the now modern databases and figure out well who was this guy, what did he do, and what is his Civil War story," said Frazier.

152 years later, a framed piece of paper dropped off in a box has been brought James King's Civil War story back to life, a history Copely said she plans to keep alive.

"It's not going to leave my store, this is something that is going to stay permanently with us."

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