Historical Rosters Database
William Wood FinneyRoster ID 95
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|Affiliation:||Class of 1848|
|Biography & Genealogy:||William Wood Finney, Class of 1848: Genealogy: Born- May 16, 1829, in Chesterfield Co., Va. Father- William Finney; Mother- Elizabeth Crichton Wood. Pat. Grandfather- John Finney; Pat. Grandmother- Sarah Mann. Mat. Grandparents: unknown. Married: Constance Williams; 1st child- Sally Finney; 2nd- Robina Finney; 3rd- Helen Finney; 4th- Ethel Finney; 5th- Constance Finney; 6th- Edith Finney; 7th- Serena Finney; 8th- Benjamin Finney. Matriculated to VMI from Powhatan, VA. At VMI 3 years. Pre War Career: Moved to California in 1850; associated with B.F. Ficklin (VMI Class of 1849) to establish the Pony Express. Military Record: Appointed Captain, Virginia Quartermaster Department, on June 21, 1861; appointed Lieutenant Colonel in the 50th Virginia on July 3, 1861; detached Jan. 28, 1862 for duty with Brigadier General (later Major General) H. Heth for whom he was Inspector General, Assistant Adjutant General, and commander of the District of Gauley; captured May 23, 1862 at Lewisburg while commanding an ad hoc battalion; held at Johnson's Island, Ohio, until he was exchanged at Vicksburg, Mississippi in September of 1862; Meanwhile, dropped from 50th Virginia on May 26, 1862, as he was not reelected; Lieutenant Colonel of the 189th Virginia Militia in 1862; Heth reccomended him for Brigadier General in Oct., 1862, calling him "one of the most competent men I ever met with for command I have seen Colonel Finney in camp and on the battlefield; his gallantry on the latter is only equalled by his constant and unremitting devotion to his duties in the former;" Major General R. Rodes (VMI Class of 1848) attempted unsuccessfully to have him appointed his Inspector General in May, 1863; appointed Acting Master of the Confederate States Navy on Sep. 28, 1863; involved in the unsuccessful attempt to free Prisioners of War at Johnson Island, Ohio; resigned in January, 1864; according to an unofficial source, he had been a purser on the blockade runner Robert E. Lee. Post War Career: teacher, Pony Express, civil engineer, farmer, hotel operator. Died- Jan. 25, 1910, in Petersburg, VA.|