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Aaron S. Oberly papers

 Collection 0282-MDHC

This collection includes 6 letters written to and by U.S. Navy Assistant Surgeon Aaron S. Oberly. The majority are "love letters" from Oberly to his future wife, Anna M. (Maria A.) Woodford while he was in Baltimore. In 1863, he served aboard the Union gunboat Kineo and in 1865, the steamer Santiago de Cuba.


  • 1863-1865

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies or digital surrogates may be provided in accordance with Special Collections and University Archives duplication policy.

Copyright resides with the creators of the documents or their heirs unless otherwise specified. It is the researcher's responsibility to secure permission to publish materials from the appropriate copyright holder.

Archival materials may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal and/or state right to privacy laws or other regulations. While we make a good faith effort to identify and remove such materials, some may be missed during our processing. If a researcher finds sensitive personal information in a collection, please bring it to the attention of the reading room staff.


0.25 Linear Feet

Scope and Content of Collection

The Aaron S. Oberly papers consist of six letters dating from 1863 and 1865. Five are "love letters" from Oberly to his future wife, Anna M. (Maria A.) Woodford. Among the details he provides, including his affection for Maria, are those of his health, the weather conditions, a train ride from New Haven, CT, to Baltimore, hotels he stayed in, and conditions of the ships and sailors.

Family History

Aaron S. Oberly was born in April 1837 in Pennsylvania and died in 1918 in Avon, CT. In 1860, he was a medical student at what is now the Yale School of Medicine and lived in New Haven with the Woodford family. In July 1861, he entered the U.S. Navy as an assistant surgeon. From 1861 to 1863 he served on the Kineo, a navy gunboat that fought Confederate forces along the Mississippi River. In August 1863 the Kineo sailed from New Orleans to Baltimore with two other Union gunboats, the Itasca and the Winona. In 1865, Oberly served on the Santiago de Cuba, a side-wheel steamer that stopped in Norfolk, VA and later Baltimore.

In 1866, Oberly married Anna Maria (Maria A.) Woodford (1844-1941) of New Haven, CT. They had two daughters.


The collection is organized into one series.

  1. Series 1: Correspondence

Processing Information

The materials have been placed in acid-free folders and stored in an acid-free box.

Guide to the Aaron S. Oberly papers
This collection was processed by Terry Ann Sayler in March 2011.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Library Details

Part of the Special Collections and University Archives

University of Maryland Libraries
Hornbake Library
4130 Campus Drive
College Park Maryland 20742