Civil War: Company A. 85th Regiment Indiana Infantry
He enlisted as a private in the Union Army in July, 1862 and was mustered in on Sept. 2, 1862 at Terra Haute, Ind. and assigned to Co. A, 88th Indiana Volunteer Infantry; served the first winter in Kentucky in repelling the rebel invasion. In the spring of 1863 was transferred to Tennessee and took part in clearing the country of rebels from Nashville to Franklin. On March 2nd was a part of the command under Col. Coburn in the hard fought battle of Thompson's Station, Tenn., where a part of the brigade fought all day against the combined forces of Van Dorn, Forrest and Wheeler, and were forced to surrender about 4 o'clock p. m., their ammunition being entirely exhausted. He was taken to Richmond, Va. via Columbia, Tullahoma, Chattanooga and Knoxville, Tenn. and Lynchburg, Va.; was confined in Libby prison for about 2 months, and then exchanged and was back at Franklin, Tenn. in June 1863, ready for the forward march to Chattanooga and Atlanta; took part in most of the engagements during the first Union guard on the streets of Atlanta, marched with Sherman to the sea, and from Savannah, Ga. Through the Carolinas to Richmond, Va.
The war being over, Sherman's army joined that of Grant at Washington in the Grand Review. Thence back to Indianapolis, Ind., where he was honorably discharged. He enlisted as a private, appointed as 8th Corporal and after the battle of Averysboro was promoted to the rank of 1st Sergeant.
After the close of the war attended a six month's term of school at Waveland Academy.
Mr. Finney was the son of Malinda Hunt and Robert Finney. "The Great Kansas Bond Scandal" documented that he was born in Sugar Creek, Parke Co, IN on 22 Aug 1839. On 03 Oct 1869, he married Hellen Hester McConnell in Neosho Falls, KS. They had two sons, Warren Wesley and Glen David.
Bio from Cutler's History of Woodson County, KS published 1883:
HON. DAVID W. FINNEY, Lieutenant Governor of Kansas, and hardware merchant, came to Kansas in August, 1866, and located in Neosho Falls, engaged in the grocery and hardware business, and has continuously been in the mercantile business since, and has at the same time engaged to a considerable extent in buying and selling stock. He has served one term as Justice of the Peace and in 1867 was elected to represent Woodson County in the Kansas State Legislature. In 1872, was elected State Senator, and in 1874 was re-elected. While serving in this capacity, he was made Chairman of special committee to revise the school laws, and his committee introduced the bill which comprises the present school law of Kansas. He represented his district in the State Senate until elected Lieutenanl sic Governor in the fall of 1880; has served his State in this capacity ever since, being re-elected in the fall of 1882. He was born in Annapolis, Parke Co., Ind., August 22, 1839; son of Robert and Malinda sic Finney. He was raised on a farm in his native county, and in July, 1862, enlisted on Company A, Eighty-fifth Indiana Volunteer Infantry; was mustered in as a private at Terre Haute, Ind., in August, 1862; was taken prisoner with his entire brigade at Thompson Station, Tenn., March 5, 1863, and confined in Libby Prison one month. Many of his comrades perished in this slaughter pen, and all were terribly reduced. He was finally exchanged, and was with Sherman in his famous raid through Georgia and on to the Atlantic coast. He was in about thirty-five engagements during the war, among the most important of which we may mention Resaca, Dallas Woods, Peach Tree Creek and Cassville; was mustered out as Orderly Sergeant at Indianapolis, Ind., June 10, 1865. He then returned to his native county and remained there until he came to Neosho Falls, Kan., in 1866. He was married in Neosho Falls October 3, 1869, to Helen H. McConnell, an intelligent and accomplished lady, daughter of Hiram and Malinda sic McConnell. She is a native of Indiana, but has been raised and educated in Kansas, her parents having emigrated to this State when she was but twelve years of age. Mr. Finney has two children--Warren W. and Glen D. Finney. He is Quartermaster of the G. A. R., and he and his wife are both consistent members of the Congregational Church. Mr. Finney has never sought office; has rather inclined to retirement; but his fidelity to principle, his pure moral character, his fine executive ability as well as his devotion to the State and its interests, have been recognized by the people who have honored him with a position next in rank to the chief executive of that State. He has served in every position to which he has been entrusted with credit to himself and with entire satisfaction to his constituents.