William Ambrose Wright

Excerpted from "Georgia's Public Men 1902-1904"
by Thomas W. Loyless Published in 1902, Byrd Printing Co. (Atlanta, Ga)



GEORGIA has never had a better official than William Ambrose Wright, Comptroller-General.

He was born in Louisville, Jefferson County, an old capital of Georgia, January 19, 1844. He was educated at Prof. W.
S. Lowrey's famous school. His distinguished father attended that school before him. Leaving school in May, 1861, young
Wright was mustered in the Third Georgia Regiment as a private. This splendid body of men was organized and commanded by Ambrose R. Wright, the famous father of the subject of this sketch.

In August, 1862, Mr. Wright's father having been made a brigadier general, the son, while the command was marching from Richmond to Manassas Junction, was promoted to first lieutenant of artillery and ordnance officer of Wright's brigade. He served in that position until November 1, 1864, and then was assigned to post ordnance duty at Augusta, Georgia, filling that place until the war closed. He was in the great Seven Days' Battles around Richmond. On August 30, 1862, he lost his right leg in the second Manassas battle. Remaining in a farm house near the field three weeks, he then went home, where he stayed from October 1, 1862, until April 1, 1863. Then he returned to his command at Fredericksburg and, maimed
as he was, continued in active service until June, 1863. In May of that year he took part in the battle of Chancellorsville. During June of the same vear, after he had crossed the Potomac with his father, General Wright, at Sharpsburg, he was made a prisoner by New York scouts and taken to the headquarters of General Tyler, across the river from Harper's Ferry.
He was imprisoned at Fort McHenry two weeks and then placed in Fort Delaware, where he remained three weeks. Then he was transferred to Johnson's Island, remaining there ten months: after which, in charge of a disabled band of Confederates, he was again transferred. They numbered several hundred. On this journey Lieutenant Wright was the only man who could walk. Having been regularly exchanged, a month later, he rejoined his command at Petersburg. There he was in several hot fights, including the Battle of the Crater. Subsequently he was detailed on service at Augusta, as before stated, where he had charge of ordnance supplies until the war ended.

After the war Mr. Wright devoted himself to cotton planting for three years in Jefferson County. His health failed and, in 1868, he took charge of a farm in Columbia County. He lived there until 1877. Then he removed to Atlanta and accepted a position in the office of W. L. Goldsmith, at that time Comptroller-General of Georgia. When impeachment proceedings were instituted against Comptroller Goldsmith, Governor Colquitt named Mr. Wright to fill the vacancy. He was, in October, 1880, elected to the office of Comptroller-General. At every succeeding election he has been re-elected, without opposition. The first president of the Confederate Veterans' Association of Fulton County, he declined re-election after
serving one term. He is now an aide on the staff of John B. Gordon, the Commander-in-Chief of the United Confederate Veterans.

In October, 1871, he married Miss Nellie Carter, daughter of J. B. Carter, of Augusta. He was married again to Mrs. Mary Sledge, nee Miss Mary Cox, daughter of Judge A. E. Cox, of LaGrange, Georgia, on November 19, 1885. His children are A. R., Philip, Nellie and Annie Wright.

Ambrose Ransom Wright, the father of Mr. Wright, was born in Louisville, Georgia, in 1826. When about seventeen he married Mary Hubbell Savage. He became a lawyer and, after practicing in the Louisville Circuit until 1860, he removed to Augusta. There he organized the Third Georgia Infantry. He was made its colonel. In June, 1862, he was promoted to brigadier-general. He commanded a brigade until November, 1864. Then he was made a major-general. He was assigned to duty on the coast of Georgia and the Carolinas, remaining there until the surrender. In September, 1862, General Wright was wounded at Sharpsburg, Virginia. At the close of the war he resumed his law practice at Augusta, but later bought an interest in the Augusta Chronicle. He was made editor-in-chief. He was holding that position at the time of his death, in December. 1872. A short time before he had been elected to Congress.


Wright, William A: ---- son of Gen. Ambrose Ransom Wright, private April 24, 1861. Transferred to Co. K, May 1, 1862. Appointed 1st Lieutenant and Ordnance Officer, Wright's Brigade, June 1862. Wounded in right leg, resulting in amputation, 2d Manassas, Va. August 30, 1862. Captured, Keedysville, Md. June 23, 1863. Paroled, Johnson's Island, O. and transferred to City Point, Va. for exchange May 1, 1864. On detail duty, in charge of Ordnance Dept. at Augusta, Ga., November 1764 to close of war. Elected Comptroller General of Ga. in 1880.


W. A. Wright's headstone in Oakland Cemetery, Atlanta, Georgia



Civil War bullet"Return Fire" to 3rd GVI Veterans Page
worth@ucla.edu, 6/26/2009