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Collection Number: 01044

Collection Title: Marcus Joseph Wright Papers, 1792-1949

This collection has use restrictions. For details, please see the restrictions.

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the FAQ section for more information.


This collection was rehoused under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.

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Size 2.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 850 items)
Abstract Marcus Joseph Wright, Confederate brigadier general and military historian, worked for 30 years, beginning in 1878, as agent of the U.S. War Department charged with collecting and compiling official Confederate army records. The collection includes correspondence, early memoirs, and other papers of Wright. Included is post-Civil War correspondence with ex-Confederate leaders concerning military history, his work, and various publications. Also included are letters, 1831-1860, of Wright's father-in-law, planter and politican John W. Womack of Eutaw, Green County, Ala., to his brother Jacob Lewis Womack, planter of Ridgeville, Butler County, Ala., concerning family matters, cotton planting, the Alabama legislature, and the coming war. There are also papers, 1929-1945, of Wright's son, Howard P. Wright, that deal chiefly with his father and Confederate history, as well as genealogical notes on the Wright family of McNairy County, Tenn., and photographs, loose clippings, and scrapbooks of clippings, chiefly relating to Confederate history.
Creator Wright, Marcus Joseph, 1831-1922.
Language English
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Information For Users

Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Restrictions to Use
Volume SV-1044/3 (scrapbook containing newspaper clippings) is unavailable for research use due to fragility.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Marcus Joseph Wright Papers #1044, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Alternate Form of Material
Partial microfilm copy available.
  • Reel 1: Series 1
Acquisitions Information
Received from Howard P. Wright of Jacksonville, Florida, and John W. Wright of Washington, D.C., in 1945 1947, with additions in 1952, 1954, 1955, and 1968; and from David Ayres Depue Ogden, Jr., in January 1994 (Acc. 94009).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Subject Headings

The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Marcus Joseph Wright, Confederate brigadier general and military historian, worked for 30 years, beginning in 1878, as agent of the U.S. War Department charged with collecting and compiling official Confederate army records.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection includes correspondence, early memoirs, and other papers of Wright. Included is post-Civil War correspondence with ex-Confederate leaders concerning military history, his work, and various publications. Also included are letters, 1831-1860, of Wright's father-in-law, planter and politican John W. Womack of Eutaw, Green County, Ala., to his brother Jacob Lewis Womack, planter of Ridgeville, Butler County, Ala., concerning family matters, cotton planting, the Alabama legislature, and the coming war. There are also papers, 1929-1945, of Wright's son, Howard P. Wright, that deal chiefly with his father and Confederate history, as well as genealogical notes on the Wright family of McNairy County, Tenn., and photographs, loose clippings, and scrapbooks of clippings, chiefly relating to Confederate history.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. John W. Womack Letters, 1831-1860 and undated.

54 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

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.

Folder 1

1831-1839 #01044, Series: "1. John W. Womack Letters, 1831-1860 and undated." Folder 1

Folder 2

1840-1849 #01044, Series: "1. John W. Womack Letters, 1831-1860 and undated." Folder 2

Folder 3

1850-1860 #01044, Series: "1. John W. Womack Letters, 1831-1860 and undated." Folder 3

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. Biographical and Genealogical Material, 1792-1922.

About 65 items.

Arrangement: topical.

Folder 4-5

Folder 4

Folder 5

Wright family history #01044, Series: "2. Biographical and Genealogical Material, 1792-1922." Folder 4-5

A history of the Wright family, including notes, quotations from history books, newspapers, directories, and other sources concerning the Wrights.

Folder 6

Marcus J. Wright biography, bibliography, and tributes #01044, Series: "2. Biographical and Genealogical Material, 1792-1922." Folder 6

Contains copies of Wright's 1922 obituary and tributes published at the time of his death. Also included are obituary notices, 1875, of Wright's wife, Martha Elcan Wright, and a partial list of Wright's writings.

Folder 7

Early memoirs of Marcus J. Wright #01044, Series: "2. Biographical and Genealogical Material, 1792-1922." Folder 7

An 18-page typescript containing Wright's early memoirs, through the time of his employment in the United States Navy Yard at Memphis, 1850-1851.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Correspondence and Related Material, 1853-1923 and undated.

226 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Correspondence and other papers chiefly relate to Marcus J. Wright's personal life, his various governmental appointments, his work assembling Confederate records for publication by the United States War Department, and his publications. Includes some Confederate papers, and much post-war correspondence concerning Confederate affairs. An index of correspondents was prepared by Wright's son, Howard P. Wright, and is filed at the beginning of the series.

Folder 8

Index of correspondents #01044, Series: "3. Correspondence and Related Material, 1853-1923 and undated." Folder 8

Folder 9

1853-1876 #01044, Series: "3. Correspondence and Related Material, 1853-1923 and undated." Folder 9

Folder 10a

1877 #01044, Series: "3. Correspondence and Related Material, 1853-1923 and undated." Folder 10a

Folder 10b

1878 #01044, Series: "3. Correspondence and Related Material, 1853-1923 and undated." Folder 10b

Folder 10c

1879 #01044, Series: "3. Correspondence and Related Material, 1853-1923 and undated." Folder 10c

Folder 10d

January-June 1880 #01044, Series: "3. Correspondence and Related Material, 1853-1923 and undated." Folder 10d

Folder 10e

July-December 1880 #01044, Series: "3. Correspondence and Related Material, 1853-1923 and undated." Folder 10e

Folder 10f

1881 #01044, Series: "3. Correspondence and Related Material, 1853-1923 and undated." Folder 10f

Folder 11

1882-1884 #01044, Series: "3. Correspondence and Related Material, 1853-1923 and undated." Folder 11

Folder 12

1885-1888 #01044, Series: "3. Correspondence and Related Material, 1853-1923 and undated." Folder 12

Folder 13

1889 #01044, Series: "3. Correspondence and Related Material, 1853-1923 and undated." Folder 13

Folder 14

1890-1894 #01044, Series: "3. Correspondence and Related Material, 1853-1923 and undated." Folder 14

Folder 15

1897-1899 #01044, Series: "3. Correspondence and Related Material, 1853-1923 and undated." Folder 15

Folder 16

1900-1910 #01044, Series: "3. Correspondence and Related Material, 1853-1923 and undated." Folder 16

Folder 17

1911-1923 #01044, Series: "3. Correspondence and Related Material, 1853-1923 and undated." Folder 17

Folder 18

Undated #01044, Series: "3. Correspondence and Related Material, 1853-1923 and undated." Folder 18

Extra Oversize Paper Folder X-OPF-1044/1

Extra-oversize papers: #01044, Series: "3. Correspondence and Related Material, 1853-1923 and undated." X-OPF-1044/1

Oversize photograph, Reunion of Confederate Veterans, 22 June 1897 #01044, Series 3. Correspondence and Related Material, 1853-1923 and undated., Xopaperfolder X-OPF-1044/1

Taken at the home of Judge Jacob M. Dickinson, former United States Secretary of War, in Nashville, Tenn.

Poster showing an aerial view of Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park #01044, Series 3. Correspondence and Related Material, 1853-1923 and undated., Xopaperfolder X-OPF-1044/1

Painted by Rudolph J. Shutting. Copyright 1913.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Howard P. Wright Papers, 1864-1949.

121 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Correspondence of Howard P. Wright, son of Marcus J. Wright, concerning his father, Confederate history, and the history of McNairy County, Tenn. His correspondents are various historical societies, libraries, patriotic societies, interested individuals, descendants of Confederate veterans, and various governmental and private agencies who are concerned with marking historical spots, preserving monuments, and similar activities.

Folder 19

1929-1937 #01044, Series: "4. Howard P. Wright Papers, 1864-1949." Folder 19

Folder 20

1938-1939 #01044, Series: "4. Howard P. Wright Papers, 1864-1949." Folder 20

Folder 21

Materials relating to Marcus J. Wright as post commander at Macon, Ga., 1864 #01044, Series: "4. Howard P. Wright Papers, 1864-1949." Folder 21

Folder 22

1940 #01044, Series: "4. Howard P. Wright Papers, 1864-1949." Folder 22

Folder 23

1941-1949 #01044, Series: "4. Howard P. Wright Papers, 1864-1949." Folder 23

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Clippings and Articles, 1894-1933.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated.

19 items.

Pictures are undated unless otherwise indicated.

Image Folder PF-1044/1

Twelve pictures: #01044, Series: "6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated." PF-1044/1

B. F. Haller #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/1
A. S. Johnston #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/1
W. Miller Owen, 1865 #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/1

Verso reads, "Lieutenant Colonel Artillery C.S.A."

Marcus J. Wright #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/1
Man dressed in animal hides, standing on a Native American blanket and carrying a bow #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/1

Verso reads, "B. Gen Arney"

Squire T. Tevis, 8 March 1865 #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/1
Mr. Swagger, 8 March 1865 #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/1
Mr. Spurr, 8 March 1865 #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/1
F. J. Cridlam (Cridland?), 1863 #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/1
T. C. Hindman #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/1
Miss Elizabeth Whitson "of Hickman County Tennessee (from verso)" #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/1
Unidentified man #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/1
Image Folder PF-1044/2

Seven pictures: #01044, Series: "6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated." PF-1044/2

Honorable Richard Warner (Tennessee) #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/2
Elderly woman, seated #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/2

Verso reads, "Miss Georgie Hayes of Eutaw Alabama. Mrs. John V. Wright, Wife of Hon. John V. Wright of Tennessee."

Harvey M. Watterson #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/2
Redfield Proctor #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/2
John Vines Wright #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/2

Caption beneath photo reads, "Father of Georgie Hayes Lyon."

Colonel H. C. Smathes #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/2
Uniform coat of Marcus J. Wright, 1933 #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/2

Coat is photographed in a display case in the National Museum, Washington, D.C.

Image Folder PF-1044/3

Ten pictures: #01044, Series: "6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated." PF-1044/3

Marcus J. Wright (four portraits) #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/3
E. O. Perrin (three) #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/3
Jefferson Davis (two) #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/3
William Swinton (one) #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/3
Image Folder PF-1044/4

Eleven pictures: #01044, Series: "6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated." PF-1044/4

Nine photographs of tablets and markers on the Chickamauga Battlefield, Georgia #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/4
One photograph of a marker at Shiloh National Military Park, Tennessee #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/4
Copy of an engraving of the Macon, Ga., railroad station where Marcus J. Wright had his headquarters in 1864 #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/4

Copied from the Macon Telegraph, 13 August 1864.

Image Folder PF-1044/5

Six pictures: #01044, Series: "6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated." PF-1044/5

Marcus J. Wright (two images) #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/5
Major-General Corbin #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/5
Colonel James Ross Howard #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/5

Photograph is accompanied by a copy of Howard's obituary announcement from the Washington Post, 1892.

Two photographs of an unidentified painting #01044, Series 6. Pictures, 1863-1933 and undated., Imagefolder PF-1044/5

Painting is a portrait of a young woman and a little girl. One photograph shows an unidentified man standing next to the painting.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 7. Volumes

7 items.

Arrangement: topical.

Folder 34

Volume 1: Scrapbook containing newspaper clippings #01044, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 34

Chiefly articles by Marcus J. Wright. Many of the clippings are missing from the pages.

Folder 35

Volume 2: Scrapbook containing pictures #01044, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 35

Chiefly pictures of Confederate leaders and United States presidents. Many from steel engravings.

Folder 36

Folder number not used #01044, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 36

Oversize Volume SV-1044/3

Volume 3: Scrapbook containing newspaper clippings #01044, Series: "7. Volumes" SV-1044/3

Volume is unavailable for research use due to fragility.

Contains articles collected by Marcus J. Wright on a variety of subjects. Indexed.

Folder 37

Volume 4: Scrapbook containing articles by Marcus J. Wright #01044, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 37

Indexed.

Folder 38

Volume 5: Scrapbook containing articles #01044, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 38

Chiefly articles by Marcus J. Wright about the Civil War. Indexed.

Folder 39

Volume 6: Small scrapbook #01044, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 39

Contains article by Marcus J. Wright titled, "Attempted Sale of U. S. Vessels to the Confederates, by Lieut. Glenney, in May 1863."

Folder 40

Volume 7: Confederate portrait album #01044, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 40

Folder 41

Volume 8: "The Wright Family of America, Savannah, Georgia, Branch." Compiled and edited by David A. D. Ogden Jr. #01044, Series: "7. Volumes" Folder 41

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Processing Information

Processed by: Eric France, May 1991

Encoded by: Kathryn Michaelis, May 2010

This collection was rehoused under the sponsorship of a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Office of Preservation, Washington, D.C., 1990-1992.

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