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George Edward Finney, Civil War diary transcript

 Collection — Folder: S2863
Identifier: S2863

Scope and Contents

This collection includes a typed transcription of Finney's pocket diary, which dates from January 1-December 31, 1863. Finney records in brief entries the daily activities of his military unit. The entires provide comments on camp life, Finney's duties, trips away from his military unit (including visits to Indianapolis and with his family), destinations of marches, visiting officers, and rumors of victory and defeat. Among specific events reported are the witnessing of a court martial, the shooting of a deserter, and Finney's participation in the Battle of Gettysburg, "one of the grandest artillery fights this country ever knew."

Joan Dearmin Finney, the transcriber, has provided two useful guides to her transcription of the diary. The first is an identification guide to persons named more than once in its pages. The second is a chronological list of places named.


  • 1863


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Literary rights, including copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their legal heirs and assigns. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts. The publisher must also obtain permission of the copyright holder.

Biographical Note

George Edward Finney was born October 8, 1833, the son of Paulinus and Hannah Taylor Finney of Niagara County, New York. He was married twice, first at miss Neal of Franklin, by whom he had one child, Nellie, and then to Alice R. Anderson of Virginia, by whom he had four children: Dena, Frank, Fred, and Barbara. Finney first volunteered for three months' service in the defense of Washington, D.C. and then became assigned to the 19th Indiana Volunteers. He was captured during the Battle of the Wilderness after receiving a gunshot wound. He was imprisoned for three months in Libby Prison, Richmond, Virginia, from which, by varying family accounts he (1) was exchanged and returned to his regiment or (2) was sent to Charleston, S.C. where he was liberated after thirteen more months of imprisonment.

Finney was a printer by trade and following the war he established the Columbus Herald (Indiana), a daily newspaper. in 1895, he moved his family to Martinsville, Indiana, establishing the Martinsville Democrat. He died on April 13, 1916 in Martinsville.

Source: printed finding aid.

Historical Note

The 19th Indiana Volunteers became part of the famous "Iron Brigade" in the Army of the Potomac. The 19th fought in the battles of Antietam, First Bull Run, Second Bull Run, Chancellorsville, Battle of the wilderness, and Gettysburg.

Source: the collection.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection consists of one item.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as a donation from Joan Dearmin Finney.


No further additions are expected.

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2016/10/06 by Lauren Patton. EAD finding aid created 2016/10/06 by Lauren Patton.
George Edward Finney, Civil War diary transcript
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.