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John R. Maybury Diary

Identifier: Ms-2008-044

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the Civil War diary of Corporal John R. Maybury of Company L, 10th New York Cavalry. The first entry in the diary (January 1, 1864) finds Maybury encamped in northern Virginia and describing routines of camp life (drilling, washing clothes, policing quarters, buying goods from the sutler, picket and forage duty, drawing a new uniform, inspection, building quarters). The weather conditions are noted on a daily basis.

In March, contacts with civilians and enemy combatants grow more frequent, with references to taking prisoners (soldiers, a lady spy and bushwackers) and denying passage through the lines. Maybury makes occasional reference to camp rumors, such as a supposed sighting of Stuart's cavalry and the taking of Richmond by Kirkpatrick. In May, the regiment sees more action, with Maybury noting the capture and burning of Virginia Central Railroad supply trains at Beaver Dam Station, the capture of guns at Ashland, heavy fighting near Richmond, and a description of action at the Battle of Haw's Shop. For the next several months, Maybury alludes to frequent skirmishes and battles with the Confederates. In the fall, Maybury's entries revert to camp activities and routines (including mention of an inspection by generals Meade and Gregg), with less frequent references to engagements with the enemy. The diary ends with Maybury traveling to the hospital, following the wound he had sustained the previous day. At the end of the diary are a few notes made by Maybury on the clothing he had drawn in service and the pension had had drawn afterward.

The collection also contains a metal stencil bearing Maybury's name and unit and a small piece of cloth on to which Maybury's name has been stenciled.


  • 1864


Language of Materials

The materials in the collection are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open to research.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials. Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: Please contact Special Collections and University Archives ( or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Biographical Note

John R. Maybury, son of Josiah and Dorcas Blake Maybury, was born in Solon (Cortland County), New York, in 1828. He enlisted in Company L, 28th New York Cavalry at Solon on September 10, 1862. Eventually promoted to corporal, Maybury received a gunshot wound to the right hand on December 1, 1864. He was hospitalized at City Point, Virginia until December 16, when he was transferred to Finley General Hospital in Washington, D. C. He remained there until mustered out as a supernumerary non-commissioned officer on June 26, 1865.

Upon his release from military service, Maybury returned to the Solon area, where he married Emogene Pierce (1837-1916) in 1866. The couple had four daughters: Mary R., Rena D., Helen and Sarah. In addition to working on his 65-acre farm, Maybury served as a justice of the peace. He died in 1917 and is buried in McGraw Village Cemetery.

The 10th New York Cavalry was organized in Erie, Chemung, Chenango, Cortland, Fulton, Steuben and Onondaga counties. Companies I, K and L were mustered in at Elmira, October 29-30, 1862, and joined the regiment in the defense of Washington, D. C. on December 5. The regiment remained in the area of Virginia's northern neck peninsula through the winter, engaging in several skirmishes. In the spring of 1863, the 10th participated in Stoneman's raid toward Richmond. The regiment participated in a number of significant battles in 1863 and 1864, including Brandy Station, Gettysburg, The Wilderness and Cold Harbor, and several smaller battles. After participating in General Sheridan's Trevilian Raid in June 1864, the 10th spent much of the remainder of the war in the siege of Petersburg and participated in the Appomattox Campaign. The regiment was consolidated with the 24th New York in June, then mustered out of service at Syracuse, New York on August 3, 1865.


0.1 Cubic Feet (1 folder)


The collection inlcudes the Civil War diary of Corporal John R. Maybury of Company L, 10th New York Cavalry, describing winter camp activities and routines, as well as skirmishes and battles with the enemy in northern and eastern Virginia.

Source of Acquisition

The John R. Maybury Diary was purchased by Special Collections in 2008.

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the John R. Maybury Diary by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (

Processing Information

The processing and description of the John R. Maybury Diary commenced and was completed in July 2008.

A Guide to the John R. Maybury Diary, 1864
John M. Jackson
2008 (CC0 1.0)
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is in English

Revision Statements

  • 2020-10-20: Finding aid notes updated to new department standards. juliags

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech Repository

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg Virginia 24061 US