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Indiana State Library

Library > Collections > Rare Books & Manuscripts > Finding Aid Index > Abel D. Streight Abel D. Streight

Abel D. Streight
S1266, OB84
1861 – 1880
1 folder, 1 os folder

Manuscripts & Rare Books Division
Indiana State Library

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Processed by: Brent Abercrombie, May 2012

Biographical Note:

Abel D. Streight was born June 17, 1828 in Wheeler, New York. Streight spent his childhood years on his farm in New York before moving to Indianapolis, Indiana. In Indianapolis, Streight became a successful publisher before the outbreak of the Civil War halted his career. Streight, as a prominent citizen in Indianapolis, was appointed Colonel and given command of the 51st Indiana Regiment. Streight’s military career was noted for his 1863 unsuccessful raid into Alabama known as Streight’s Raid. Due to insufficient supplies, Streight’s cavalry unit was equipped with mules instead of horses. Coupled with Streight’s inexperience as a military commander resulted Streight and his men being captured by Confederates. Streight, along with 107 other P.O.W.s, escaped Libby Prison by digging a tunnel from their barracks to escape. Streight eventually returned to active duty and was involved in battles in Franklin and Nashville, Tennessee. By the conclusion of the war, Streight earned the rank of Brevet General.

Following his military service, Streight returned to Indianapolis to begin a career in politics. Streight was twice elected state senator of Indiana in 1876 and 1888. Streight died May 27, 1892 in Indianapolis. He is buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis. 


Willett, Robert L. The Lightning Mule Brigade: Abel Streight’s 1863 Raid into Alabama. Guild Press, Carmel, IN. 1999.
Shepherd, Rebecca A., et al., eds. A Biographical Dictionary of the Indiana General Assembly. Vol. 1. 1816–1899.Indianapolis: Indiana Historical Bureau, 1980.

Scope and Content Note:

The collection consists of military papers relating to Abel D. Streight during the Civil War. Additionally, the collection includes a portrait of Streight and a newspaper article of a letter written by him detailing his escape from a Confederate prison and his defense for hiring black laborers from North Carolina to work on his farm in Newton County, Indiana.

Photocopying Policy:

Manuscript materials CANNOT be photocopied or digitized in their entirety. Photocopies and/or digital images cannot exceed 25% of a collection or a folder within a collection. In some cases, photocopying may not be permitted due to the condition of the item. Check with a Manuscript Librarian for other options.

Item Listing

Folder 1. 

Jan. 2, 1880 Newspaper Article (copy of letter written by Streight) [Photostat]
April 9, 1866 Military Appointment – Brevet General
1879 Portrait Image


Sept. 4, 1861 Military Appointment – Col. 51st IN Regiment
Nov. 18, 1871 Society of the Army of the Cumberland Certificate

Collection Information

Size of Collection: 1 folder, 1 os folder
Collection Dates: 1861 – 1880
Provenance: Unknown
Access : The collection is open for research use
Restrictions: None
Reproduction Rights: Permission to reproduce, exhibit, or publish material in this collection must be obtained from the Manuscripts and Rare Books Division, Indiana State Library.
Language: Materials are entirely in English
Alternate Formats: None
Related Holdings: Broadsides M 1850 – 1889 (Letter to O.P. Morton from Streight)