The battle for a Civil War sword, flag and other artifacts has ended in a settlement.
Michael H. Dunn of Atlanta filed suit in Bibb County Superior Court in 2011, arguing that he is the rightful owner of the items. The lawsuit claims the artifacts had been passed down through generations of his family, although they had been loaned to the Cannonball House in Macon decades ago.
Dunn’s lawyer, Lin Wood of Atlanta, confirmed that “the matter has been resolved to the satisfaction of the parties.”
Terms of the settlement are confidential, he said.
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In the Sept. 29, 2011, lawsuit, Dunn contended that some of the items loaned to Friends of the Cannonball House are now in bad shape and others have been lost. He said the items, which included a Confederate naval ship captain’s sword, were “family heirlooms” willed to him by his father.
Dunn requested that a judge rule that the items be returned to him.
Earl Colvin, executive director of the Cannonball House, declined to comment. The attorney representing the group did not return a phone message.
Court documents showed that Friends of the Cannonball House argued that the items were donated in 1967 and their records didn’t show evidence that they were loaned.
The group also argued that the sword belonged to a Union rear admiral, not a Confederate officer. It also maintained that Dunn’s wife, Lee, took items, including two swords, from the Cannonball House in July 2010. She allegedly mistakenly took a sword not associated with the Dunn family while trying to recover what the family considers an heirloom.
Lee Dunn returned the mistaken sword immediately before the lawsuit was filed, according to an answer to the suit filed by the group.
Friends of the Cannonball House argued that Michael Dunn and Lee Dunn, a past Cannonball House board member, wrongfully possessed the items that weren’t returned, according to court records.
The group filed a counter-claim, requesting that a judge rule that the items belonged to Friends of the Cannonball House.
Court records show Friends of the Cannonball House and Dunn filed documents to dismiss their claims on Friday.
Information from Telegraph archives were used in this report. To contact writer Amy Leigh Womack, call 744-4398.