Recently, on a weekend trip to Galena, IL I came across this interesting piece of history in the Galena & US Grant Museum. It seems appropriate as we are closing in on Valentine's Day - its a valentine cut by a soldier during the Civil War. They did not specify a date on the piece but the Civil War lasted from 1861-1865 so one can assume that it was created at some point then.
It's not the best photo (because I took it) but if you look closely you can see the amazing detail - hearts, doves, horses, soldiers carrying flags and bayonets. The soldier who created this did not have an X-acto with a #11 blade at his disposal, so did he use a sharp knife? Also, who was his sweetheart that he gave it to? Did she ever receive it or did he tragically die in battle before he could send it to her? I would love to know the story behind it but have to settle for dreaming up my own.