Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Straight mss., 1864-1881, consist primarily of documents and papers relating to Captain David Evander Straight, 1832-1902, and the 100th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry, in the Civil War. Straight was born in Charlotte, New York, August 18, 1832. In the mid-1850s, he attended Michigan State University then moved to Illinois with his brothers to farm and do carpentry. He married Mary Ann (Annie) Cassidy in 1858; they had four children.

At the commencement of the Civil War in 1861, David Straight joined the 129th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He was promoted to Captain in 1864 and given command of Company I, 100th United States Colored Infantry shortly after that regiment was organized in Kentucky. The primary service of the regiment was to provide guard duty for Nashville, Tennessee and the Northwestern Railroad until December 26, 1865, when they was mustered out or disassembled at Beuton Barracks in St. Louis. During their service in Tennessee the regiment was involved in the Battle of Nashville, December 15-16, 1864, one of the last major engagements of the Civil War.

The collection is arranged in chronological order. The majority of the items in the collection are official inventories and reports of equipment and supplies of Captain Straight and other members of the regiment, many of which originated when the regiment was at Beuton Barracks outside of St. Louis, Missouri, November-December 1865. Among the items in this collection are clothing receipt rolls that include the names of the soldiers. Also present is one letter, dated July 16, 1865, special orders sent to Captain Straight for 1864-1865, and a pension certificate and voucher dated 1881. Seven empty envelopes and a theatre announcement for "Jim the Penman," written by Sir Charles Young, complete the collection. An inventory is available.

Purchase. 2004

Collection size: 32 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.