William L. Riley Papers

Collection Summary

Title: William L. Riley Papers
Call Number: MS 74-38
Size: 0.5 linear feet
Acquisition: Donated by Mrs. Margaret Harrison and Mrs. James Williams
Processed by: DAO, 9-16-1974; SMC, 3-16-1998; MN, 1-2009
Restrictions: None
Note: Digital collection, William L. Riley Papers

Literary Rights

Literary rights were not granted to Wichita State University. When permission is granted to examine the manuscripts, it is not an authorization to publish them. Manuscripts cannot be used for publication without regard for common law literary rights, copyright laws and the laws of libel. It is the responsibility of the researcher and his/her publisher to obtain permission to publish. Scholars and students who eventually plan to have their work published are urged to make inquiry regarding overall restrictions on publication before initial research.

Content Note

The William L. Riley collection primarily concerns his military service during the Civil War from August 1862 to June 1866. He was captured once for a short duration by the Confederate Army and an account of his capture, subsequent escape, and return to his unit is contained in the collection. Two diaries kept by Riley from 1864 to 1866 provide excellent insight into the monotonous routine of military life. Another portion of the collection is concerned with Mr. Riley's application for pension in 1922 and his entire pension record is part of the collection.


William L. Riley was born December 9, 1838. He was in the military from August 1862 until June 1866, as a member of the Grand Army of the Republic. Captain Riley served most of his time based in Tennessee as a Private in Company B, 151st New York Infantry, and as a Second Lieutenant of Company C, 21st New York Cavalry. After the war, he lived in El Dorado, Kansas. He died May 3, 1922.

Detailed Description: Box and Folder Listing

Box 1 FF 1 Diary -- December 1864-1865. Includes complete transcription of diary.
Box 1 FF 2 Diary -- January 1866-June 1866. Includes mostly complete transcription of diary.
Box 1 FF 3 Official certification of record by the Soldiers and Sailors Historical and Benevolent Society
Box 1 FF 4 Pension files
Box 1 FF 5 Certification of record
Box 1 FF 6 Department of Interior -- Bureau of Pension to Hattie Riley, August 3, 1922
Box 1 FF 7 Photograph of William L. Riley and his wife
Box 1 FF 8 Personal account of Civil War
Box 1 FF 9 Personal military history of William L. Riley
Box 1 FF 10 Honorable discharge
Box 1 FF 11 Recommendation -- September 19, 1850
Box 1 FF 12 Roster of surviving members -- September 1, 1911
Box 1 FF 13 Correspondence from William Williams to William L. Riley, December 10, 1865
Box 1 FF 14 Copy of answers on request for pension forms, April 1, 1915
Box 1 FF 15 News clippings regarding William L. Riley's death
Box 1 FF 16 Special Order #44 -- October 18, 1865