If you are an avid reader of this blog (Hi, Mom!) then you may remember a little tidbit about the petrified remains of a soldier being found in a cage on the grounds of Sligo. The quote I used was from the 1937 Works Progress Administration (WPA) of Virginia Historical Inventory. Obviously, 1937 was quite a few years after the Civil War and over 150 years after the Revolutionary War. So, really, the information given had to be taken with a grain of salt if the person was indeed a soldier.
A very kind reader (surprisingly not my mom because I could have sworn she was the only person tuning in) sent me a list of articles pertaining to Sligo which sent me back to the Virginiana Room at the local library. I received a fantastic tutorial on how to use the microfilm machine and a whole new world opened up. As I was searching for articles I had a great time scanning what was news for the late 1800s. My personal favorite was what appeared to be an opinion piece lamenting the fact that women wanted to be more like men and, if that’s the case, then could they please give up all of their fancy hats with feathers because the bird population is suffering?!
Anyway, that’s not why we’re here. We want gore! Not “birds being killed to make elegant hats” gore but “men being left in metal cages” gore! So, as it turns out, in 1899 there was indeed the remains of a man found in a metal cage though not on the grounds of Sligo. Whew! I mean, I am sorry that a person died and was put in a metal cage but at least it wasn’t at Sligo.
The part of the story that is really disturbing is the cage was in the shape of a human body and most likely the person in it was deemed a “lunatic.” I question who it was that deemed the poor soul a lunatic and I question the tactics used for treatment. Thank God, mental health wellness has come such a long way in the last 130 years because just a few short months ago someone might have been shoving me into a metal cage, citing lunacy.
Below is the article which gives more information about the finding of the body and that a first body had been similarly found in King George (neighboring county) a few years prior.