"When those two items, the flag and the sword, were brought out onto the floor for bidding, the atmosphere was absolutely hushed, and electric," said Douglas Brown, spokesman for Dallas-based Heritage Auctions, which organized the event at a hotel near the battleground where 75,000 Confederate troops collided with 97,000 Union Army soldiers over the first three days of July 1863.
"Aside from these headliner items, there were also uniforms, manuscripts, letters, personal items, art, weapons, books," Mr. Brown added. "Those bidders who take them home take the history with them. It is history that you can touch. Literally."