RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A button that experts believe was from Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s dress coat and a strand of hair from his horse are among the items found inside a time capsule discovered when workers removed the base of a Confederate monument from the grounds of the North Carolina state Capitol.

Workers found the time capsule while dismantling a 75-foot (23-meter) Confederate monument that stood on the state Capitol grounds for 125 years, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Thursday.

Time had taken its toll on the capsule, according to the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. There was rust on the metal box that kept the contents, which the department said were “severely damaged by the elements.”

Also, the department recovered Confederate money, song books and flags and a stone believed to be from Gettysburg. The capsule also contained newspapers from across the state.

Gov. Roy Cooper had ordered the removal of that statue and others for safety reasons after protesters toppled other statues.

Protests had followed the death of George Floyd, a black man who died at the hands of police in Minneapolis. Viewed as symbols of white supremacy, many Confederate monuments are being taken down.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.