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Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Contents

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Wright’s letter

Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the U.S. General Horatio Wright Letter, 1865



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Wright, Horatio, General.
Title: U.S. General Horatio Wright Letter, 1865
Dates: February 12, 1865
Abstract: Letter written February 12, 1865, by General Horatio Wright (major general of volunteers in the Union Army), probably while at the siege of Richmond, Virginia, and addressed to “My dear Col[onel?]” (addressee's name is Col. Edward H. Wright, Newark, N.J., appearing below General Wright's signature), in which he tells of family news while on a recent leave, mentions troop activity following an unspecified ‘late movement’ of troops in the Army of the Potomac.
Identification: MS 108
Quantity: 1 letter
Language: Materials are in English.
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, TX

Biographical Note

Horatio Gouverneur Wright was born March 6, 1820, in Clinton, Connecticut. He graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1841, was commissioned a second lieutenant in the Corps of Engineers, and directed engineering projects in Florida for ten years. He rose to first lieutenant and in 1855 to captain, and assisted the chief engineer in Washington, D.C., until 1861.

In September 1861, five months after the Civil War broke out, Wright became brigadier general of volunteers and began to lead combat forces, in which capacity he continued until the end of the war. After leading expeditions to Florida and South Carolina, in May 1863 he was given command of the 1st Division of the VI Corps of the Army of the Potomac, and a year later took command of the VI Corps; he then became major general of volunteers, participated in every battle of the Wilderness campaign, and in July 1864 was sent hurriedly to Washington, where he helped repel a Confederate raid; from August to December 1864 he fought under Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley campaign. He returned to the Army of the Potomac with the VI Corps in early 1865 and seems to have been present at the siege of Richmond when the letter of February 12th was written.

After the Civil War ended, Wright commanded the Department of Texas for a time, participated in important engineering projects around the country, and was promoted to brigadier general in the regular army and chief of engineers in 1879. He retired in 1884 and died July 2, 1899, at Washington, D.C. He was buried in the Arlington National Cemetery, survived by his wife, the former Louisa M. Bradford, and two daughters.

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Scope and Contents

General Horatio Wright’s letter of February 12, 1865, written probably while the VI Corps was on the front lines at the siege of Richmond, consists of four pages written on one folded sheet of stationery with the letterhead “Headquarters Sixth Army Corps.” In the letter, Wright seeks to clarify an apparent misunderstanding with the recipient (“My dear Col”[onel?] ) and discusses family news from a recent leave of absence; he then notes current movements of troops, and expresses admiration for a soldier named McClellan and hopes that McClellan will soon receive a promotion.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This material is open for research.

Use Restictions

Permission to publish material from the U.S. General Horatio Wright Letter, 1865 must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library.

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Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Wright, General Horatio, 1820-1899.
Places
United States. Army. VI Corps.
United States. Army of the Potomac.
United States—History—Civil War, 1861-1865
Formats
Correspondence.

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Related Material

See additional Civil War era collections in the Woodson Research Center.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

U.S. General Horatio Wright Letter, 1865, MS 108, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Acquisition Information

The General Horatio Wright Letter, 1865, was purchased from a dealer September 17, 1962.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Wright’s letter

General Horatio Wright’s letter of February 12, 1865, written probably while the VI Corps was on the front lines at the siege of Richmond, consists of four pages written on one folded sheet of stationery with the letterhead “Headquarters Sixth Army Corps.” In the letter, Wright seeks to clarify an apparent misunderstanding with the recipient (“My dear Col”[onel?] and discusses family news from a recent leave of absence; he then notes current movements of troops, and expresses admiration for a soldier named McClellan and hopes that McClellan will soon receive a promotion.

Return to the Table of Contents