Fearing that Federal troops would capture the Fresnel lens in the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Confederate soldiers removed it in 1862 and shipped it inland to Washington, then Tarboro. With the Union threatening destruction of Washington if the lens wasn't returned, Dr. David Tayloe, who supported the Confederacy, assumed responsibility for the lens and carried it to safety by boxcar to his home in Townsville in what is now Vance County. Tayloe died in 1884. The whereabouts of the forty-four boxes containing the Fresnel lens have been one of the great mysteries of the Civil War. Thirty years ago Kevin Duffus set out to solve the 140-year-old mystery. He discusses his quest, which ended with the finding of the lens in 2002. In 2005, the Fresnel lens will go on display at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum.