Marcus Joseph Wright (June 5, 1831 – December 27, 1922) was a lawyer, author, and a Confederate general in the American Civil War. He was agent for collection of Confederate records for War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, a U.S. War Department publication.
Wright was born in Purdy, Tennessee. He was admitted to the bar, and practiced at Memphis. He was clerk of the common law and chancery court. He was lieutenant colonel of a Tennessee militia regiment designated the 154th Tennessee militia regiment.
Wright's militia regiment was mustered into Confederate States Army service as the 154th Senior Tennessee Infantry. In 1861, Wright was ordered to establish a fortification at Randolph, Tennessee, on the Mississippi River. Fort Wright was Tennessee's first military training camp in the Civil War and is named after Marcus Joseph Wright. Later in the war Wright was the Confederate military governor of Columbus, Kentucky, from February 1862 until its evacuation, and with his regiment was present at Belmont and Shiloh, where he was wounded. He served on the staff of Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Cheatham during General Braxton Bragg's invasion of Kentucky where he fought at the Battle of Perryville. Wright was promoted to brigadier general on December 13, 1862, and fought in the Tullahoma campaign at Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge. In 1863-64 he was in charge of the district of Atlanta. After the evacuation of the city he commanded at Macon. At the end of the war, he commanded the District of North Mississippi and West Tennessee. He was paroled May 19, 1865 at Grenada, Mississippi.
After the war, Wright returned to the practice of law at Memphis and for a time was assistant purser of the United States Navy Yard. He became the editor of the Columbia, Tennessee, Journal. Wright later moved to Washington, D.C. to practice law.
After 1878 Wright was agent of the United States War Department for collecting Confederate military records. He worked on this project until June 1917. He published numerous magazine articles and several books, including:
- Life of Gov. William Blount (1884)
- Life of General Scott (1894)
- Analytical Reference (1904)
- Tennessee in the War (1908)
- General Officers of the Confederate Army (1911)
- The Social Evolution of Woman (1912)
- Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1959. ISBN 0-8071-0823-5. p. 346
- "Diary of Brigadier-General Marcus J. Wright, C.S.A.". Documenting the American South. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 1989. http://docsouth.unc.edu/fpn/wrightmarcus/wright.html. Retrieved 2009-03-29.
- Angela Wallace Finley. "Tipton County". The Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. http://tennesseeencyclopedia.net/entry.php?rec=1387. Retrieved 2008-10-04.
- Eicher, John H., and Eicher, David J., Civil War High Commands, Stanford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
- Arlington National Cemetery biography of Wright
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Gilman, D. C.; Thurston, H. T.; Moore, F., eds (1905). "article name needed". New International Encyclopedia (1st ed.). New York: Dodd, Mead.
- Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Gray: Lives of the Confederate Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1959. ISBN 0-8071-0823-5.
- Men of Mark in America Biographical Sketch
- Open Library list of works
- Marcus Joseph Wright at Find a Grave
- Works by Marcus Joseph Wright at Project Gutenberg
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