Woman loses her 200 Civil War book collection to floodwaters; community steps in to help her rebuild it

Woman loses her 200 Civil War book collection to floodwaters, community steps in to help her rebuild

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - She lost almost everything in her home due to Hurricane Florence’s floodwaters. But the one thing she was the most devastated about losing was her civil war book collection - all 200 of them.

Margaret Connolly started collecting Civil War books when she was just 13-years-old.

“I had over 200 books, magazines, artifacts, one-time-releases,” Connolly said. “It was just stuff that I was interested in and collected for many years.”

Her fascination for the Civil War started the first time she learned about Abraham Lincoln in school.

She would get books as birthday presents, Christmas presents, or just anytime she would go to Barnes and Noble.

Connolly did not evacuate for Hurricane Florence. She actually had to work through it.

She said her home has never flooded in all the years she’s lived there so she didn’t expect that it would this time.

Margaret Connolly's destroyed kitchen after Hurricane Florence left about 4 feet of floodwaters in her home. (Source: WECT)
Margaret Connolly's destroyed kitchen after Hurricane Florence left about 4 feet of floodwaters in her home. (Source: WECT)

“We’ve been in this house since 1992 and through many hurricanes and this is not a flood zone. Nothing like this has ever happened here.”

However after the storm, she returned to her home with about 4 feet of water inside and her Civil War book collection... destroyed.

“It was very upsetting,” Connolly said. “There was a lot of non-replaceable stuff that we lost in that. And when people tell you ‘It’s just stuff,’ that’s probably one of the worst things they can say to you. Cause it is stuff, but to me and everybody else like us, it’s our life.”

On the bright side, Connolly’s cousin, Tara, knowing how much the collection meant to her, posted to Facebook that if anyone had any Civil War books they didn’t want, to donate them to reach out to her so she can pass them along to Connolly to start rebuilding her collection.

Margaret Connolly flipping some of her new Civil War books (Source: WECT)
Margaret Connolly flipping some of her new Civil War books (Source: WECT)

Connolly said her cousin told her she has already received a good amount of books for her.

Wednesday was also Connolly’s birthday. She said her co-workers got her some Civil War books as well.

“My wonderful co-workers just gave me a nice sized stack to start my collection with,” Connolly said. “Just trying to rebuild our lives and my collection and just try to get some normalcy back in our life.”

If you would like to help Connolly rebuild her Civil War book collection you can reach out to her on Facebook by clicking here.

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