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Sgt Jeremiah “Darby” Finley

Sgt Jeremiah “Darby” Finley

County Tipperary, Ireland
Death 25 Jun 1876 (aged 34–35)
Little Big Horn Battle Site, Big Horn County, Montana, USA
Burial Little Big Horn Battle Site, Big Horn County, Montana, USA
Plot Mass Grave Last Stand Hill
Memorial ID 16165032 · View Source
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Sgt Finley was the "oldest line sergeant" in C Company, 7th U.S. Cavalry. C Company was commanded by two time Medal of Honor recipient, Capt Tom Custer. Capt Custer was also the brother of LTC George Armstrong Custer.

Finley, a tailor, had also reportedly made the buckskin jacket LTC Custer wore at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Prior to living in the US, Finely had served in the 17th a Foot at Kilkenny Ireland under the name of Darby Finley. While with the 17th a foot, Finely served in Malta & the Crimea. He was discharged from service in Quebec Canada on August 19, 1865.

Finely enlisted into the US Army on September 18, 1868 at Chicago Ill. His listed civilian occupation was laborer. Finley was described as 5'6", gray eyes, brown hair with a light complexion.

On November 10, 1868, Finley reported for duty in Kansas & was assigned to C Company, 7th US Cavalry. His daily duties were listed as tailor. On June 3, 1869, he was promoted to corporal. On August 17, 1871, he was promoted to sergeant.

Finley was killed during the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Capt Benteen found Finley's "badly mutilated" body two days after the battle. Finely was described as laying near his horse, Carlo.

Also laying nearby was Sgt Finckle & apporoximatey 15-20 other soldiers from Company C. They were found in the area of Calhoun Ridge & Calhoun Hill on what had been the flank of Company L. Based upon reports from burial details & numerous fired cartridges, it appeared that Finely & the others had fought dismounted until overwhelmed & killed.

Finley was likely first buried where his remains had been found. In 1881 all known battlefield burials were moved to a mass grave on Last Stand Hill.

Finely was survived by his wife, Ellen Anna Elizabeth & three children, Mary Ellen, William H & Jeremiah. On September 14, 1877, his wife was awarded a widow's pension.

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  • Created by: Randy
  • Added: 13 Oct 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 16165032
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sgt Jeremiah “Darby” Finley (1841–25 Jun 1876), Find A Grave Memorial no. 16165032, citing Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument, Little Big Horn Battle Site, Big Horn County, Montana, USA ; Maintained by Randy (contributor 46846747) .