At the Atlanta History Center in Buckhead, just outside the heart of Atlanta, lies a sweetheart pin made from a most unusual item. Abigail Arline of Albany, Georgia, was working in a hospital as a nurse during the Civil War. A wounded Confederate soldier was admitted and had to have his leg amputated. After the surgery, the soldier took a piece of his leg that had been cut from his body and inscribed his name on the bone to give to his sweetheart, a girl named Lizzie. The soldier ended up dying of his wounds so nurse Abigail was not able to pass on the pin because no one knew the name of the soldier or the full name of the recipient. It exists on display at the history center.
Cheré Dastugue Coen is an international travel writer and the author of “Forest Hill, Louisiana: A Bloom Town History,” “Haunted Lafayette, Louisiana” and “Exploring Cajun Country: A Historic Guide to Acadiana” and co-author of “Magic’s in the Bag: Creating Spellbinding Gris Gris Bags and Sachets.” She also writes Louisiana romances under the pen name of Cherie Claire, “A Cajun Dream” and “The Letter.” Write her at firstname.lastname@example.org.