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Sunday, January 20, 2013 - 2:40pm
(CNN) — A Wisconsin woman recently found out she bought a piece of history... for cheap!
Her copy of "Les Miserables," which she bought for three bucks at a library book sale five years ago, was originally owned by a Civil War general.
Since 2008, a copy of "Les Miserables" sat on Sarah Anderson's shelf.
After seeing the new movie, she looked at it with new eyes and realized the original owner was someone special: Gen. William J. Palmer.
"He's the founder of Colorado Springs, the Denver Railroad, he was a spy in the Civil War, he was a general," explained Anderson.
Thinking she had a rare find, Anderson called the archivist at the Colorado Pioneer Museum in Colorado.
The archivist verified it belonged to Palmer.
The book came from an Oshkosh public library sale. The friends of the library sort through donated books ahead of the sale.
But sometimes interesting pieces slip through the cracks.
Anderson told us she's not sure the monetary value of the book. She's donating it to the Colorado museum for its historical value.
"To where the rest of his collection is. I think that's where it belongs...it just blows my mind. It seems like I was meant to find this book."
Anderson is donating the book in her son Henry's name. She lost three-year-old Henry in 2009 to a rare immune-deficiency disorder.
"So many of the quotes from the book that Victor Hugo wrote I've thought of in the last three years since we lost Henry, like, 'even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise."
In fact, books mean so much to Anderson she actually publishes children's books in Henry's name.
They are some of the bedtime stories Henry and his dad made up together.
According to Anderson, the books are meant to bring awareness to children living with rare diseases.
She sells them to raise money for a children's hospital.