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The Lost Light: A Civil War History Of Extinguished Southern Sentinels And Hidden Lighthouse Lenses: The Mystery Of The Missing Cape Hatteras Fresnel Lens

Duffy, Patrick Gavin - Revised and Enlarged By James A. Beard

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ISBN 10: 1888285214 / ISBN 13: 9781888285215
Published by Looking Glass Productions Inc, Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A., 2003
Used Condition: Very Good Soft cover
From The Book Exchange (Hickory, NC, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Used trade paperback in vg condition. Author signed on title page "Kevin Duffus". Minor edge and handling wear to pictorial cover. No spine creasing. Small spots on bottom page edges near spine, book is otherwise clean and tight. Bookseller Inventory # 014686

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Lost Light: A Civil War History Of ...

Publisher: Looking Glass Productions Inc, Raleigh, North Carolina, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Trade Paperback

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: No Jacket

Signed: Signed by Author

About this title


In September 2002, after 3 years of research, Raleigh author and filmmaker, Kevin Duffus, solved the long-standing mystery of the missing, first-order Fresnel lens from the 1803 Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The first-order optic was removed from the top of the first Hatteras tower in 1861, in a desperate act to prevent the beacon from aiding the Union Navy’s blockade. In its wake, the Hatteras lens left a trail of destruction, defiance and recrimination—careers were lost, towns were threatened, and the steamboat that transported the lighthouse contraband was captured and sunk. The apparatus, produced in France of more than 1,000 crown-crystal prisms and one of the earliest commissioned for a U.S. lighthouse, was eventually hidden in "a good storehouse," in Granville County, NC, 200 miles from the Cape.

So began an intriguing mystery that endured for 140 years—what became of the 6,000-pound, 12-foot tall, bronze and crystal Fresnel lens from the original Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, hidden during the Civil War? Considered by lighthouse historians to be the "holy grail" of American lighthouses, the storied apparatus vanished into obscurity, a mystery made of myths, urban legends and a sea of faded and fire-damaged documents. According to Lighthouse Digest, the whereabouts of the Cape Hatteras lens had remained "one of the great-unsolved mysteries of American lighthouse history."

Kevin Duffus tells an intriguing and inspiring story of perseverance, passion, imagination and luck during his three-year pursuit and research for the long lost Henry-Lepaute first-order Fresnel lens from the 1803 Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. But Duffus discovered more than the storied Hatteras lens—he compiled a staggering volume of research that for the first time, accurately portrays the desperate efforts of Confederate officials to darken the southern coastline and to hamper Lincoln’s blockade of southern ports. His new research proves that contrary to previous published histories, Southern lighthouse lenses were not vandalized or "shot out of the tops of lighthouses by retreating Confederate soldiers," but that most were carefully and professionally dismantled, gently packed and secretly transported to secure locations. Throughout the war, Federal troops searched customs houses, warehouses and military depots in search of North Carolina’s missing two-dozen lighthouse lenses without success.

From the Publisher:

The extraordinary odyssey of the Hatteras lens and the fate of other Southern lighthouse lenses are described in a new book by Duffus titled: The Lost Light—A Civil War History of Extinguished Southern Sentinels and Hidden Lighthouse Lenses. The book spans 200 years of American history and is a spellbinding tale of plot-twists, ironies, redemption and dishonor.

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The Book Exchange originally opened in 1976. The present ownership began in 1982 and we have steadily grown to 200,000+ books in stock. We now have about 75% paperbacks and 25% hardbacks. In our walk-in bookstore, there is something for everyone - romance, horror, mysteries, intrigue, westerns, paranormal, science fiction, fantasy, time travel, religious, non-fiction, true crime and war stories, children's books, cookbooks, gardening books, travel books, coffee table books and a lot of vintage (collectible) paperbacks. WE DO NOT SELL OR TRADE TEXTBOOKS.

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