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Collection Number: 03685-z

Collection Title: Robert Stuart Finley Papers, 1862-1867, 1911

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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Size 29 items
Abstract Primarily Civil War letters from Robert Stuart Finley to his fiancee, Mary A. Cabeen, and miscellaneous military and other papers. Finley was a member of the 30th Illinois Infantry, serving in Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, and Georgia. The letters give full descriptions of his activities and surroundings. Places mentioned include Fort Donelson and Jackson, Tenn.; Camp Logan, La.; Vicksburg, Miss., Athens, Atlanta, Big Shanty, and East Point, Ga.; Huntsville, Ala.; and Pocotaligo and Beaufort, S.C. Finley participated in the Atlanta Campaign and in Sherman's March through the Carolinas. Also included are two letters concerning Richard H. Cabeen (d. 1864), one telling of military actions near Dalton, Ga., and the other informing his father of his death. Postwar items include papers relating to Finley's military service, his marriage license, and biographical information about him.
Creator Finley, Robert Stuart, 1838-1868.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Robert Stuart Finley papers #3685-z, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Purchased from Isabel Rodgers of San Jose, Cal., in May and June 1964.
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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Robert Stuart Finley (1838-1868), native of Ohio, moved to Mercer County, Ill., in 1854. He taught at Washington, Iowa, and North Diberty, Iowa, and graduated from Monmouth College. He also studied at the Theological Seminary of Monmouth before the Civil War.

Finley served in the 30th Illinois Infantry, 1861-1865, as quartermaster sergeant and was promoted to first lieutenant on 25 April 1865. He was graduated in theology in 1867, married Mary A. Cabeen on 11 April 1867, and died 26 January 1868, leaving his widow and an infant a few days old.

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These papers include sixteen letters written by Finley during the Civil War, and two Cabeen family Civil War letters; seven papers relating to Finley's enlistment, rank, and discharge; marriage certificate, 1867; and a biographical sketch of Finley and two letters, 1911.

The sixteen letters written by Finley between March 1862 and March 1865 to Mary Cabeen, Mercer County, Ill., contain full descriptions of events and scenes witnessed by him, including battles, battlegrounds, southern towns and surrounding neighborhoods, and activities of the soldiers in camp. The letters detail camp life--illnesses and deaths of his colleagues; food, supplies, and weather; the importance of receiving mail; and his thoughts on the war in general and the state of politics and religion. Each letter gives some information about his present situation and some account of recent movements and events. Finley wrote from Fort Donelson and Jackson, Tenn.; Yocona River and Vicksburg, Miss.; Camp Logan, La.; Athens, Gaylesville, and Huntsville, Ala.; Big Shanty and East Point, Ga.; Pocotaligo, S.C.; and Goldsboro, N.C.

Also included are a letter from Richard H. Cabeen to his father, Richard Cabeen, telling of marching and camping in the woods about ten miles from Dalton, Ga., and a letter to Richard Cabeen announcing Richard H. Cabeen's death in a battle near Resaca, Ga.

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Contents list

expand/collapse Expand/collapse Robert Stuart Finley Papers, 1862-1867; 1911.

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Processing Information

Processed by: Suzanne Ruffing, August 1996

Encoded by: ByteManagers Inc., 2008

This collection was processed with support from the Randleigh Foundation Trust.

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