Marcus Joseph Wright Brigadier General  

Marcus Joseph Wright
Brigadier General, Confederate States of America

His  Womack  Connection

Photo Courtesy of The Library Of Congress

     Marcus Joseph Wright, aged 91, who held the rank of Brigadier General in the Confederate Army, died December 27, 1922 at his home in Washington, D.C. He was the author of a number of histories and memoirs of the South. Since 1878 he had been an agent for the War Department for the collection of military papers.

   "He was born at Purdy, Tennessee, and had practiced law in that State. He was one of the foremost writers on the Confederate side of the Civil War, and had contributed fifty sketches of Southern commanders to Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography. With General A. L. Long, he prepared "Memoirs of Robert E. Lee," and has written half a dozen other books dealing with United States Military history."

    His memorial in Section 16 of Arlington National Cemetery, at the base of the Confederate Memorial, reads:

Marcus Joseph Wright
Cheatham's Brigade

     He is one of only two Confederate General Officers to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery, the other being Joseph Wheeler.

     March Joseph Wright (1831-1922) was a native of Purdy, McNairy County, Tennessee.  He was a lawyer, clerk of court, and sheriff in Memphis before serving in the Confederate army, where he was assistant adjutant general on Cheatham's staff, regiment commander, military governor, brigade commander, and post commander.  He also served as brigadier general.
   In 1878, Wright was appointed agent of the United States War Department charged with collecting and compiling official Confederate army records.  He served in this post for thirty years.

    Wright was married twice.  His first wife was Martha Spencer Elcan Wright (d. 1875), daughter of Spencer and Martha Bolling Elcan.  His second wife was Pauline Womack Wright, daughter of John W. (fl. 1831-1860) and Ann M. Beville (or Bevill) Womack. 

    Wright had at least two sons, Howard P. (fl. 1929-1947) and John W. Wright.

     Marcus Joseph Wright's second father-in-law was John W. Womack, who had migrated from Butler County, Ala., to Greene County, Ala., by 1840.  A planter and lawyer, he served from 1831 to about 1837 in the Alabama General Assembly.  Jacob Lewis Womack (b. 1806?), his brother, also a planter, resided in Butler County, despite frequent urging from John to move to Green County.

Ancestors of Pauline Womack

Generation No. 1

  William Womack was born Abt. 1620 in Possibly Kent, England, and died Bef. 1685 in Bermuda Hundred, Henrico Co., Virginia. He married Mary Allen Abt. 1643 in Henrico Co., Virginia. She was born Abt. 1625 in Possibly, England, and died Bef. 1685 in Bermuda Hundred, Henrico Co., Virginia.  

Generation No. 2

Richard Womack, born Abt. 1655 in Henrico Co., Virginia; died Bef. April 25, 1684 in Henrico Co., Virginia. He married Mary Puckett Abt. 1675 in Henrico Co., Virginia; born Abt. 1656 in Henrico Co., Virginia; died Abt. 1692 in Henrico Co., Virginia.


Generation No. 3

Richard Womack, Jr., born Abt. 1676 in Henrico Co., Virginia; died Bef. March 1722/23 in Henrico Co., Virginia. He married Elizabeth Puckett Abt. 1705 in Henrico Co., Virginia; born Abt. 1678 in Henrico Co., Virginia.


Generation No. 4

Richard Womack III, born December 07, 1710 in Henrico Co., Virginia; died 1790 in Hancock Co., Georgia. He married Ann Childers; born Abt. 1715 in Henrico Co., Virginia.


Generation No. 5

Abraham Womack, born April 22, 1742 in Hancock Co., Georgia; died December 09, 1804. He married (1) Martha Mitchell May 31, 1763 in Granville Co., North Carolina; born May 04, 1744; died December 01, 1782 in Granville Co., North Carolina. He married (2) Martha Watkins Abt. 1784 in Georgia; born Abt. 1770.


Generation No. 6

Mansel Womack, born June 04, 1770; died December 11, 1826 in Butler Co., Alabama. He married (1) Sarah Rogers September 11, 1790 in Greene Co., Georgia; born Abt. 1781. He married (2) Mary Maria Lewis Abt. 1805 in Hancock Co., Georgia; born February 25, 1773; died February 12, 1855.


Generation No. 7

John Warburton Womack, born October 15, 1807 in Hancock Co., Georgia; died August 29, 1863 in Eutaw, Alabama. He married Anne Miller Beville December 29, 1839 in Green Co., Alabama; born Abt. 1820; died 1885.

Notes for John Warburton Womack:

Letters from John W. Womack, Marcus Joseph Wright's father-in-law, to his brother, Jacob Lewis (Lewis) Womack, and a letter of advice, undated, to his daughter, Pauline, wife of Marcus Joseph Wright. Most letters discuss family matters, the state of people's health, and crop conditions. Family members mentioned in the letters include John W. Womack's mother, who split her time between John and Lewis; John's first wife Nancy and their daughter; and his second wife Ann M. Beville (or Bevill) Womack and their children Winston, Sidney, and Pauline. Members of Lewis's family mentioned in the letters include his wife Agnes and their children Joseph, Augustus (Gus), and Caroline. Occasionally mentioned are Joseph Womack's strugle with alcoholism, and the illness and death of their brother Mansel Womack (1810?-1842). Many letters mention politics, travel, social matters, and business and legal affairs.


Generation No. 8

Pauline Caroline Womack was born October 23, 1845, and died April 06, 1934 in Boligee, Alabama. She married Gen. Marcus Joseph Wright September 02, 1875. He was born June 05, 1831 in Purdy, McNairy Co., TN, and died 1922.

Brig. General Marcus Joseph Wright, CSA. Participated in the Battles of Belmont, Shiloh, Chickamauga, Missionary Ridge and Perryville. Authored several books on the Southern Army and its leaders.

WRIGHT, Marcus Joseph, soldier, was born in Purdy, McNairy county, Tenn., June 5, 1831; brother of John Vines Wright (q.v.). He attended the academy at Purdy; was a law student and clerk of the common law and chancery court, Memphis, Tenn., 1853-61; assistant purser of the U.S. navy yard, Memphis, Tenn., 1850-54, and practised law in Memphis, 1858-61. He was married: first, to Martha Spencer, daughter of Spencer and Martha (Bolling) Elcan of Memphis; and secondly, to Pauline, daughter of John W. and Ann M. (Beville) Womack, of Alabama. He was elected a member of the American Historical association; of the state historical societies of most of the southern states; president of the Southern History society, and was the first vice-president of the District of Columbia Society of the Sons of the American Revolution, with Admiral D. D. Porter as president. Of his children, Marcus Joseph, junior, was, in 1903, U.S. weather observer at Pensacola, Fla.; Benjamin, a lieutenant in the U.S. navy, saw service with Dewey at Manila Bay, May 1, 1868; John Womack was captain of volunteers in the Spanish-American war, lieutenant, U.S.A., and collector of customs, Baracoa, Cuba. Howard a student and Pauline Casey, his only daughter. General Wright entered the Confederate States army as colonel of the 154th Tennessee regiment, April 4, 1861, and with four companies of his regiment and a battery of artillery, occupied and fortified Randolph, Tipton county. He led his regiment in the battle of Belmont, Nov. 7, 1861; was military governor of Columbus, Ky., February-March, 1862; again led his regiment in the battle of Shiloh, April 6-7, 1862; was assigned to the staff of Gen. B. F. Cheatham in the Kentucky campaign as lieutenant-colonel, and assistant adjutant-general, and served with him, June-September, 1862; was appointed brigadier-general, Dec. 13, 1862, commanding a brigade in the Chickamauga and Missionary Ridge campaigns; and was in charge of the district of Atlanta, Ga., 1863-64, until its evacuation. He subsequently commanded the districts of Macon, Ga., and North Mississippi and West Tennessee. He was sheriff of Shelby county, Tenn., 1867-68, and on July 1, 1878, was appointed agent of the U.S. war department to collect Confederate records, which duties occupied him twenty-five years, and resulted in Official Records of the War of the Rebellion. He is also the author of: Reminiscences of the Early Settlers of McNairy county, Tennessee (1882); Life of Governor William Blount (1884); Life of General Winfield Scott in "Great [p.468] Commanders Series" (1894), adopted as a text book for the U.S. War College; Memoirs of Gen. R. E. Lee with Gen. A.L. Long (1896); and co-author of American Reference Library (6 vols. 1900). He prepared and printed, privately, Sketch of Edward Augustus. Duke of Kent, for which he received the thanks of Queen Victoria, the Prince of Wales, and the Princess Louisa. He also contributed many biographical sketches of Confederate army officers to various reference works.


Children of Pauline Womack and Marcus Wright are:

 i.   John Womack Wright, born July 10, 1876 in Kirkwood, MO. He married Helen Elizabeth Hyde September 27, 1905 in Plattsburg, NNew York; born Abt. 1885.

Notes for John Womack Wright:  Colonel in the U.S. Army.

 ii.   Pauline Casey Wright, born February 24, 1880 in Washington, D.C.. She married William Walter Dinwiddie October 25, 1905 in Washington, D.C..

 iii.   Howard Paul Wright, born February 26, 1881 in Washington, D.C.; died January 24, 1966 in Jacksonville, FL.. He married Ethel Stockton Holmes December 02, 1922 in St. Augustine, FL.; born December 29, 1897; died September 1974 in Jacksonville, FL..


Copyright 2000  Roger Womack. This document may be duplicated or printed for use in personal research as long as this copyright notice is included. It may not be reproduced in any other media form and/or for commercial use without the express written consent of the author.

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