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The William L. Riley digital collection primarily concerns his military service during the Civil War from August 1862 to June 1866. He was captured by the Confederate army, and accounts of his capture, seven-month imprisonment, subsequent escape, and return to his unit are contained in the collection. Two diaries kept by Riley from 1864 to 1866 and other documents provide insight into the routine of military life, references to his escape, and a poem celebrating Sherman’s "march to the sea." After the war he lived in Logan County, Illinois, and El Dorado, Kansas. Another portion of the collection is concerned with Mr. Riley's application for a pension in 1922 and his entire pension record is part of the collection.

Personal account
Finding Aid to William L. Riley Papers

 
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