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Sunday, January 7, 2018

The Wright Brothers of Rome

by Lawrence S. Freund
© 2018 All rights reserved by the author.

The American Civil War split both the nation and many of the nation’s families, none more so than two descendants of one of the pioneer families of Rome in upstate New York. Theirs was a political and social division that exemplified the countervailing attitudes of North and South as well as the values and pathways that led to the conflict.

The Wright family arrived in what would become Rome, New York, from Connecticut in 1789, staking out land still known today as Wright Settlement. Joseph Wright, a descendant of the founders, fathered six children with his first wife, Martha, three with his second wife, Fanny. Phineas Camp Wright, born in 1816, was the oldest surviving son of Joseph and Martha. Phineas was raised in Rome, studied and practiced law, and in 1844 married Rosina Martin, a Virginia-born widow with a young son.[1] They soon moved south to New Orleans, to which Wright was drawn by the extended litigation of the Myra Clark Gaines case, a multi-year lawsuit in which a woman of uncertain ancestry sought to establish her inheritance rights.[2] It was a lawyer’s dream. For Wright, according to some sources,[3] the legal arguments and the documents he discovered led to an ambitious reverie, the creation of a semi-secret organization, the Order of American Knights, which would attach itself to the increasingly bellicose states rights sentiments of the South. [4]



In 1854, Wright was appointed chairman of a Committee of Arrangements for the impending visit to New Orleans of former U.S. President Millard Fillmore. Fillmore, who left the White House in March 1853, embarked on a tour of the southern states a year later, with stops from Louisville to Savannah. It was a sort of victory lap with high praise from local officials for the chief executive who had signed into law the congressional bills making up the controversial Compromise of 1850, which included the Fugitive Slave Act. Wright, speaking to a crowd gathered in front of New Orleans City Hall, the former president at his side, lauded Fillmore, and spoke of “Events which demanded on the part of the chief magistrate especially unyielding firmness, patriotism, and signal ability in maintaining the principles upon which the fabric of our constitution rests, when, for the first time, men dared to calculate the value of that constitution and of the Union itself. But, sir,” Wright continued, “you were found equal to the emergencies, and your country will honor you.”[5] Phineas Wright, a slave owning[6] attorney in antebellum New Orleans, was also a New Orleans alderman, judge and elected member of the Louisiana House of Representatives. But he nonetheless saw his future elsewhere following the financial panic of 1857. In 1859 he moved his family north along the Mississippi River to St. Louis.[7]

Phineas Wright roamed the Middle West to enlist civilians in his Order of American Knights, creating a St. Louis “temple” for his order in February 1863. Federal officials in St. Louis had already become suspicious about Wright’s activities, requiring him to take a loyalty oath. That summer, seeking a wider playing field, he traveled to New York City, returning then to St. Louis to publish an oration on behalf of his order, with the nom de plume of “P. Caius Urbanus.” “There exists to-day a power which calls itself, in the unparalleled arrogance which distinguishes it, ‘the Government,' which has invaded the sacred and hitherto respected sovereignty of your several States,” he proclaimed, “has disregarded the constitutions, laws, and ordinances of those States, which the people thereof have ordained and accepted … has invaded the sacred precincts of your peaceful homes …” As “Supreme Commander” of the order, Wright declared to his “Brothers”: “We will with our swords, if need be, sweep away these clouds…”[8] In early 1864, Wright returned to New York, where he met Benjamin Wood, a Kentucky-born, Southern-sympathizing member of congress and co-owner of the New York Daily News, a newspaper publicizing the same anti-war sentiments as Wright. Wright was hired to increase the daily’s readership, and he began by printing a letter sent to Democratic Party leaders and sympathetic editors. He said the Daily News could become “a medium of the interchange of sentiment & opinions of the friends of peace,” and described it as “our especial organ,” perhaps meaning the voice of his quixotic Order of American Knights or perhaps the voice of northern, anti-war Democrats.[9]

After just seven years in St. Louis, which he would later claim as his permanent home, Wright set up shop among the anti-war Copperheads of New York, still proclaiming his leadership of the fading Order of American Knights and seemingly secure as a quasi-editor of the Daily News. In March 1864, he arranged to meet his wife Rosina in Detroit, intending to travel with her to New York with stops along the way to deliver speeches and meet with potential subscribers to his newspaper. On April 27th, a Federal soldier arrested Wright at his Grand Rapids, Michigan, hotel. It was the end of Wright’s freedom for the next 15 months.[10]

Joseph Cornwall Wright, born in 1821, was a younger half-brother of Phineas, the child of Joseph Wright and his second wife, Fanny. While Phineas, with his legal training, selected a path that would take him into the heart of the rebellious, pro-slavery South, his brother Joseph chose a radically different road. Joseph Wright graduated from what was then known as the American Literary, Scientific and Military Academy in Norwich, Vermont (now Norwich University), following which he studied law with his future father-in-law, Calvin Gay, back in Rome.[11] He then moved to Oswego, New York, the Lake Ontario hub where his brother Phineas was already practicing law.[12] While Phineas moved to New Orleans where he was admitted to the Louisiana bar and began his involvement in the Gaines case, Joseph continued to practice law in Oswego and also became immersed in the town’s civic and commercial life, building a grain elevator and exploring the grain trading business, which would eventually take him to Chicago.[13] In the 1857 elections, Joseph ran for a seat in the New York State Assembly. His Republican supporters at the Oswego Daily Times applauded his record, noting that until Joseph had traveled to Chicago to represent the commercial interests of Oswego, the town “had never enjoyed the benefits of the trade of Lake Michigan; but through the untiring labors of Mr. Wright,” the newspaper editorialized, “our city was brought into notice, a trade commenced and flourished.”[14] Oswego’s Democratic newspaper, the Palladium, countered that Joseph “never was suspected of indulging any sympathy or regard for the laboring man; never gave them employment, succor or benefit in any way; knows nor cares anything for their wants or necessities; never put a dollar in their pockets, but has taken many out.”[15] In the election on November 3, 1857, the voters chose the Democratic candidate,[16] a turning point that refocused Joseph’s attention on his opportunities in Chicago, just as his brother Phineas – elected in 1855 to the Louisiana House of Representatives – was focusing on his opportunities in St. Louis and the Order of America Knights.

Joseph Wright, now living in Chicago with his wife, Adeline Gay Wright, and two children, Addie and John Hammond, became a leading figure at the Chicago Board of Trade, the futures and options exchange. With the outbreak of the Civil War, there was strong Union sympathy on the Board. There had been several notable Union victories in the early months of 1862, including the capture of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson in Tennessee, the Union victory at Shiloh and the Union capture of New Orleans. At an excited pro-Union gathering in Chicago in June, Wright jumped on a table and proclaimed, “Federal successes were so numerous as to be looked upon as a matter of course. We could not be satisfied,” he shouted, “unless we received the news of some fort surrendered, or some victory achieved, before taking our morning’s coffee.” Wright then added, as the crowd applauded: “When the traitors are hung as high as Haman, then will the time come that this rebellion will be designated as the Slaveholders’ Rebellion, as a hellish conspiracy to protect their rights to property which the people of the North, God knows, never designed to interfere with.”[17] Wright’s pro-Union, not necessarily anti-slavery sentiments matched those of much of the North at the time, including those of the nation’s president, Abraham Lincoln.

As Joseph Wright spoke, plans were already in motion at the Chicago Board of Trade to sponsor a military unit to be sent south. Recruiting began the next month and Wright, with his patriotic fervor and military training in college, was offered the leadership of the unit, the 72nd Illinois Infantry. Wright declined the offer, accepting the number-two position as lieutenant colonel under Frederick A. Starring,[18] a former civil engineer.

The 72nd boarded a train in Chicago on August 22, 1862, heading for training in Cairo, Illinois and then assignments in Kentucky, Missouri and elsewhere, leading to Vicksburg, the Mississippi River town recognized by both Confederate and Union leaders as the key to control of the river and all its consequential commerce for the South. For many weeks, General Ulysses S. Grant had moved his troops tactically toward Vicksburg, intending to assault the city. On May 19, 1863, Grant flung his first wave against the Vicksburg defenses, but it was beaten back. The second wave was prepared for May 22nd. The infantry units included the Illinois 72nd. One of its officers, Major Joseph Stockton, described it as “a day long to be remembered.”[19] Anson Hemingway, an18 year-old private in Company D of the 72nd (and grandfather-to-be of Ernest Hemingway), paused to reflect in his diary on what lay ahead. “How I do wish this war would end,” he wrote. “This place is very strongly fortified and it will cost a man a life to take it – but it must fall. We must take it.”[20]

At 10 o’clock in the morning, the 400 men of the 72nd regiment moved toward the line of Confederate fortifications, first edging down a ravine, then ascending on hands and knees toward the waiting Rebel riflemen in their defensive ditch. Four of the 72nd’s men were immediately shot and killed. The regiment shifted its position. “At last, at two o'clock promptly, the word came to ‘go,’” recalled Stockton in his diary. “Up we started and rushed ahead with a yell, and were greeted with a most wondrous volley. Our colors were planted about fifteen feet from the ditch, but we could not go forward, the fire was too severe, men could not live; we laid down and only the wounded fell back, while shot and shell from the right and left and our own batteries in the rear, whose shell fell short, did terrific work. Men fell ‘like leaves in wintry weather.’”[21]

The advance of the 72nd Illinois toward the Confederate line at Vicksburg on May 22, 1863, began at 10 o’clock in the morning. Leading the regiment was not its colonel, Frederick Starring, but the regiment’s highly respected second-in-command, Joseph Wright. Starring was out of action, disabled, he said, by sunstroke at that relatively early hour (some claimed that Starring’s pre-battle incoherence was caused by alcohol, but that charge did not interfere with Starring’s later career; he retired as a brigadier general).

Joseph Wright led the charge of the 72nd toward the Confederate rifle pit, his sword in his left hand raised above his head. At that moment, a rifle shot shattered his left arm above the elbow. Despite the heavy casualties, Gen. Thomas Ransom, leader of the brigade, ordered the troops forward, but the Confederate defense was unbreakable and, Joseph Stockton recorded: “At last he gave the word to get back into the ravine, which we did, and remained until midnight, when we were ordered back to our camp.”[22] The wounded were then taken to the rear, including Joseph Wright whose arm was amputated. He was then returned to his tent. Later that night, Albert Bodman, a reporter for the Chicago Tribune, stopped at Wright’s tent to chat with the wounded officer and offer his sympathy. “Never mind, Bod,” Wright said, “I have one arm left with which I can guide my horse; the carrying of a sword is only for effect anyway.”[23] The 72nd lost 96 killed, wounded and missing – Joseph Wright among them – in its 20 minutes of fighting. Grant ordered one more Union assault against the Vicksburg defenses. “This last attack,” Grant would write in his memoirs years later, “only served to increase our casualties without giving any benefit whatever. As soon as it was dark our troops that had reached the enemy’s line and been obliged to remain there for security all day, were withdrawn; and thus ended the last assault upon Vicksburg. I now determined upon a regular siege,” Grant continued, “‘to out-camp the enemy,’ as it were, and to incur no more losses.”[24] The siege of the Mississippi city would lead to its surrender on July 4, 1863.

Brought to Chicago after losing his left arm on May 22, 1863, at Vicksburg, Mississippi, Joseph Wright seemed to be on the road to recovery. He spoke thoughtfully with a reporter from the Chicago Tribune about “probable future scenes and events in this sanguinary struggle of freedom against slavery. He had nothing to say of grain, of prices … or of markets. His whole conversation was of our country and its sacred cause – his aspirations how much he could accomplish for its good.” The same newspaper reported on July 6th that “strong hopes were entertained” for Wright’s complete recovery, “until about 10 days ago when his arm had to be re-amputated, which was followed by erysipelas (bacterial skin infection).” According to the newspaper, “In all his wanderings during his last hours of his illness he was continually talking about military movements, giving orders to his regiment, urging his men on to charges, etc., etc.” Finally, said the paper, “Gradually sinking till yesterday of half past ten o’clock a.m., he breathed his last, peacefully and calmly.”[25]

News of Joseph Wright’s death on July 6, 1863, spread quickly, some newspapers carrying both the news of his passing and the Confederate surrender of Vicksburg two days earlier. On July 7th, the Oswego Commercial Times editorialized that “His death will create a profound impression in our city, where he had very many friends, and where he was widely known and universally respected. Col Wright was a man of more than ordinary ability.”[26]

A funeral procession led by a military band brought Wright’s remains to Chicago’s Second Presbyterian Church where he and his family had worshipped. The Chicago Tribune reported that “Seldom has Chicago witnessed a more solemn and imposing ceremony.”[27] From there, Wright’s flag-draped coffin, accompanied by his family, was placed aboard a train for his hometown, Oswego, New York. On Thursday, July 9th, the funeral procession, again led by a band, followed by soldiers of the 48th Regiment, passed through the streets of the lakeside town, most of whose shops were closed in mourning. Many years later, in 1907, the Oswego Daily Palladium reported that it had been provided with a copy of Joseph Wright’s will, which was dated February 11, 1863, likely while his regiment was camped at Memphis, Tennessee, and still months before the Battle of Vicksburg. Among the witnesses to the will was Colonel Frederick Starring, who would become incoherent on the day of that battle, and was replaced at the head of the regiment by Wright. “Should it please God that I fall a victim to this most wicked and unjustifiable rebellion,” Wright wrote in his will, “I desire, if in full accordance with the wishes of my beloved wife and children, but not otherwise, to be buried with my comrades, should the Board of Trade of Chicago make any provision for a burial place for those who enlisted in the army under their patriotic auspices.”[28] Absent any such arrangements by the Board of Trade, Wright’s remains, followed by what was described many years later as “the largest procession in the history of Oswego,”[29] were taken to Oswego’s Riverside Cemetery for burial, after a final volley was fired over his grave by the 48th Regiment. His sword, uniform and other equipment, according to the 1907 newspaper report, were bequeathed to Wright’s son, John Hammond Wright.

On April 30, 1864, less than a year after Joseph Wright’s death, his brother Phineas was brought to Fort Lafayette, a Federal military prison on an island offshore from Brooklyn, New York. By July, Wright had devised a legal strategy in his mind that he hoped would hasten his exit from prison. After securing pen, ink and paper, he wrote a letter to St. Louis lawyer Edward Bates, now serving in Lincoln’s cabinet as U.S. Attorney General. Wright began his note to Bates by recalling that he (Wright) had occupied an office in St. Louis in the summer of 1860, although Wright admitted that their acquaintance was “short in duration and not intimate.” Wright then moved on to the subject of his letter, that he was, as he put it, a “Prisoner of State,” arrested by order of the president. “I am entirely ignorant of the cause of my arrest,” Wright continued, and then pleaded with Bates to ask Lincoln “why I am arrested and whether it is by his specific authorization.”[30] After waiting in vain for more than a month for a reply to his letter to Bates, Wright decided to skip intermediaries and on August 30, 1864, he addressed a letter directly to Abraham Lincoln, one of the men who, as “Caius Urbanus,” he had described months earlier as wicked and a despot. “Until this hour,” he complained to the president, “I am unadvised of any charge or charges against me, or of any special cause why I was arrested. My position is most painful and mortifying,” Wright declared. “I am not a criminal begging for mercy, but a free citizen demanding justice, to know whereof I am accused, and who is my accuser, to be confronted with the witnesses against me, tried by the law, and by it be convicted or acquitted.” Wright concluded his letter by pointing out, “I am a brother of the late Joseph C. Wright of Chicago who died of wounds received at Vicksburg while he was in service as a Lt. Col. of a Regiment raised in Chicago principally by his own efforts. He may be in your memory.”[31] Whether Lincoln actually read Wright’s letter or remembered Joseph Wright is uncertain. In any case, the plea had no discernable effect on Phineas Wright’s incarceration.

By the time of Phineas Wright’s arrest and imprisonment in 1864, the writ of habeas corpus had already been suspended in the North. As far as Lincoln and his administration – and, later, congress – were concerned, prisoners no longer had the right to appear in court for a hearing on their detention. It was a wartime measure and men such as Phineas Wright were regarded in Washington as part of a pro-Confederate seditious conspiracy. Attorney General Edward Bates, in his private diary, explicitly referred to Fort Lafayette as “the political prison.”[32] Wright, a lawyer, chose to ignore the absence of his right to a writ of habeas corpus and instead wrote to an attorney friend in Detroit, Michigan, Theodore Romeyn, claiming “I can tell you that which you never dreamed of.”[33] Romeyn, a lifelong Democrat but a strong supporter of Lincoln, turned the matter over to a fellow Detroit lawyer and then U.S. senator, Jacob Howard. Howard penned a letter to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, explaining that “Wright has been a dangerous & but half crazed fellow – has had the fever of his enthusiasm subdued & salutary restraint – wants to get out - & promises his former counsel Theodore Romeyn Esq. of this city to make a full & frank disclosure of all he knows about those societies & other treasonable combinations, if allowed, to Mr. R. (Romeyn) who is now in New York.”[34]

On March 1, 1865, Wright, now held without charges at Fort Lafayette for “ten weary months,”[35] as he put it, began to write his “full & frank disclosure.” He completed the 12-page, hand-written confession, addressed to his lawyer Romeyn, 10 days later. “Unadvised except by insinuation of any specific charge against me,” he wrote, “I am left in a great degree, to conjecture in regard to what I shall say, in order to meet the just expectations of those who look for my exculpation if not justification, from my own lips at least.” Wright outlined the history of the Order of American Knights, stating that it “was conservative, not destructive or revolutionary.”[36] On the day Wright completed his statement, using a carefully wrought penmanship, he forwarded the document to his lawyer, Theodore Romeyn, with a cover letter written that same day, but in a noticeably less controlled hand. “My mind, I can perceive,” he said, “has become not a little enfeebled by ten months incarceration in this most dreadful place, and surrounded by so many painful circumstances.”[37] On March 12, 1865, Major General John A. Dix, commander of the Army’s Department of the East in New York, forwarded Wright’s statement to Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, commenting, “(A)lthough it is manifest that it is not a full disclosure, it is very important as sustaining, in its most essential particulars, the report of the Judge Advocate General[38] on the O.A.K. & other kindred associations.”[39] The next day, March 13, 1865, Wright and seven other political prisoners were led out of Fort Lafayette and sent to another offshore military prison, Fort Warren, Massachusetts.

Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered less than a month later, on April 9, 1865. On April 14th, Good Friday, John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Lincoln as part of a last-ditch conspiracy to rescue the South from defeat. Federal officials suspected a far wider plot involving at least some of the men already suspected of treason and imprisoned. On April 27th, the government’s searchlight focused on Phineas Wright. Wright was informed by a prison official that he had a visitor, Major John Bolles, the army’s Judge Advocate. As Wright later recalled, Bolles stated: “I am pushing inquiries relative to that dreadful affair of Good Friday last. I refer to the assassination of President Lincoln.” Wright jumped to his feet, exclaiming: “What do you mean, sir?” Bolles urged Wright to be calm, read from some papers he had pulled from an envelope – Wright’s letter addressed to his lawyer Romeyn – and argued that Wright was unquestionably a party to an old conspiracy organized to assassinate Lincoln. Bolles then asked Wright to make a formal statement, Bolles taking notes for Wright to sign.[40] Wright repeated his recent history, that he had left New Orleans in 1857 and in the spring of 1859 brought his family – his wife Rosina and his stepson Egbert Martin – with their “servants” (that is, their slaves) to St. Louis. Wright said he had been the commander of the Order of American Knights until February 22, 1864, and then Bolles added in his notes: “Wright further states that he has never had any knowledge or suspicion that any project or design had been formed or imagined by any man or body of men to assail the person or take the life of President Lincoln or of any other public officer or person whomever. The foregoing statement is a correct record of my communication with Maj. Bolles & in witness that it is true I hereto subscribe my name. P.C. Wright Fort Warren 27 April 1865.”[41]

Before penning his signature to Bolles’ handwritten document, Wright made an additional disclaimer. In 1857 and 1858, Wright had earlier explained to Bolles, he had been in Iowa and Illinois. Bolles instead wrote that Wright had been a “citizen” of the two states. Wright objected, saying he had been a “sojourner” or “denizen.” Bolles accepted the change, but then told Wright, with irony: “You are now a citizen of Massachusetts and are likely to remain so for some time to come.”[42] The Judge Advocate departed Fort Warren. Phineas Wright remained.

On July 7, 1865, Wright signed an oath of allegiance to the United States (his second in less than three years[43]), again claiming St. Louis, Missouri, as his place of residence.[44] On about August 1, 1865, he was released from Fort Warren, completing 15 months of imprisonment, having never been charged of a crime and never brought to court. On August 7th, The New York Times published a short item, advising that “Mr. P.C. WRIGHT, formerly of the News, recently released from Fort Warren without further charges of espionage, is at the Astor-place Hotel. He is well and cheerful.”[45]

Now freed from Prison, Phineas Wright returned to the courtroom to pursue his own false-imprisonment case against the government and to seek the freedom of another inmate still behind bars at Fort Lafayette. At the same time, he was a leading organizer of a convention of former “prisoners of state,” as they described themselves, and the publication of a compendium of personal histories of about 100 prisoners held without charges in Federal prisons during the Civil War. Wright also resumed his law practice, focusing on legal work for the expanding American railroads. In 1871 he became a director of the Ridgefield and New-York Railroad and arranged for the incorporation in New Jersey of the Narrow Gauge Railway Company. In 1883 Wright was listed as vice president of the New-York, Fordham and Bronx Railway, a proposed train line connecting the elevated lines on the east side of Manhattan to the northern reaches of the Bronx.[46] Like many of Wright’s other schemes, the railway company never succeeded, although its successors eventually extended rapid transit service across the Harlem River and into the Bronx.

In early January 1890, Wright, now about 73 years old, suffered a stroke. After fading for three weeks, he died on January 27, 1890, at his Manhattan home. The New York Daily Tribune noted that “At the close of the war he returned to this city and resumed active practice again, in which he continued until about three years ago …”[47] Wright is buried in an obscure, unmarked grave at Maple Grove Cemetery in what is now the Kew Gardens section of Queens, New York. The grave of his brother, Joseph C. Wright, is marked by a tall obelisk in Oswego’s Riverside Cemetery. The paths of the two New York-born brothers, both men of conscience, had divided sharply during the Civil War. Their legacies are testaments to their era and continue to speak to the hopes and trials of our time.

About the author: Lawrence S. Freund is a former news correspondent based in London,Belgrade and New York and a news editor in New York. A graduate of Queens College (City University of New York) and the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International studies, he has published family
histories and has written on various aspects of the American Civil War.







[1]Curtis Wright, Genealogical and Biographical Notices of Descendants of Sir John Wright… (Carthage, Missouri, 1915), 127-128.
[2]Elizabeth Urban Alexander, Notorious Woman: The Celebrated Case of Myra Clark Gaines, (Baton Rouge, 201), 204.
[3]“Remarkable Testimony by J. J. Bingham, Chairman of the Democratic State Committee, “ The New York Times, November 6, 1864; George Fort Milton, Abraham Lincoln and the Fifth Column (New York, 1942), 66 (“In these records the attorney found papers about a secret organization, together with its ritual and the obligations of the oath. These led him to launch its counterpart under the title of the Order of Americans Knights.”). However, the late historian Frank L. Klement sharply questioned Milton’s scholarship, accusing him of “substituting conjecture and myth for historical fact.” (Frank L. Klement, Dark Lanterns (Baton Rouge, 1984), 248).
[4]Klement, Dark Lanterns, 64-65.
[5]Times Picayune (New Orleans, Louisiana), March 29, 1854; Augusta Chronicle (August, Georgia), April 5, 1854.
[6]Phineas C. Wright to Pierre Cazelar; to Maloney S. Du Fosset; to John R. Thompson – Sale of slave(s), New Orleans Notarial Archives (May 15, 1852), 330-A341-A, 347-A.
[7]Klement, 65.
[8]P. Caius Urbanus, “Occasional Address of Supreme Commander,” Congressional Serial Set, Series II, Vol. VII (Washington, D.C., 1899), 282-286.
[9]Klement, 72-73.
[10]Klement, 74.
[11]William Arba Ellis, Norwich University, 1819-1911; Her History, Her Graduates, Her Roll of Honor, Vol. 2 (Montpelier, Vermont, 1911), 350-351.
[12]John C. Churchill, ed., Landmarks of Oswego County, New York (Syracuse, New York, 1895) 268-269.
[13]Chicago Tribune, July 8, 1863.
[14]Oswego Daily Times, November 2, 1857.
[15]Palladium (Oswego, New York), November 2, 1857.
[16]Oswego Daily Times, November 13, 1857.
[17]Commercial Times (Oswego, New York), November 18, 1862.
[18] Chester Arthur Legg, Charles Henry Taylor, A collection of addresses and papers describing the services rendered by the Board of Trade of the City of Chicago in the Civil War (Chicago, 1912), 17.

[19]Joseph Stockton, War Diary (1862-5) of Brevet Brigadier General Joseph Stockton (Chicago, 1910), 16.
[20]Nancy W. Sindelar, Influencing Hemingway: People and Places That Shaped His Life and Work (Lanham, Maryland, 2014), 11.
[21]Stockton, 16.
[22]Ibid.
[23]Chicago Tribune, July 6, 1863.

[24] Ulysses S. Grant, Personal Memoirs of Ulysses S. Grant (New York, 2007), 210.

[25]Chicago Tribune, July 6, 1863.
[26]Commercial Times (Oswego, New York), July 7, 1963.
[27]Chicago Tribune, July 8, 1863.
[28]The Oswego Daily Palladium (Oswego, New York), August 20, 1907.
[29]Oswego Palladium-Times (Oswego, New York), September 28, 1936.
[30]P.C. Wright to Edward Bates, July 15, 1864. Autograph Letter Signed, 6, 33, Record Group 107, Entry 29: Records of the Secretary of War, Record Series Originating During The Period 1789-1889, Correspondence, Letters Received, Letters Received from the President, Executive Departments, and War Department Bureaus, 1862-1870, National Archives. Bates gave Wright’s letter to President Lincoln who forwarded it to Assistant Secretary of War Charles A. Dana who gave it to Col. William Hoffman, a West Point graduate serving as Commissary-General of Prisoners. From Hoffman, Wright’s letter was then carried to another army officer in the War Department, Major-General Ethan Allen Hitchcock, then serving as Commissioner for Prisoner of War Exchange. Hitchcock, the grandson and namesake of the Revolutionary War patriot, stated that he was unfamiliar with the reasons for Wright’s arrest but thought that perhaps he remembered him from St. Louis where, he believed, Wright had been a delegate to the Missouri Constitutional Convention in 1861, which voted against secession. If he was not mistaken about the identity of Wright, Hitchcock continued, he would vouch for his integrity and honor. “Unless there is clear evidence against him,” Hitchcock concluded, he was “disposed to believe that the public interest does not require (Wright’s) confinement provided he gives the usual pledge.” Hitchcock’s words of support would never reach Wright, not least because Hitchcock was assuredly recalling his acquaintance in St. Louis not with Phineas C. Wright but with Uriel Wright, a well-known and outspoken attorney who had been elected to Missouri’s Constitutional Convention.
[31]P.C. Wright to Abraham Lincoln, August 30, 1864, Letters Received by the Office of the Adjutant General, Main Series, 1861-1870, Publication M619, Record Group 94, National Archives.
[32]Edward Bates, The Diary of Edward Bates, 1859-1866 (New York, 1971), 237.
[33]Klement, 221.
[34]J. M. Howard to E. M. Stanton, January 27, 1864, Letters Received by the Office of the Adjutant General. Main Series, 1861-1870, Publication Number 619, Record Group 94, National Archives.
[35]P. C. Wright to Theodore Romeyn (Statement), March 1, 1865, Case Files of Investigations by Levi C. Turner and Lafayette C. Baker, compiled 1861-1865, Publication 797, Record Group 94, National Archives.
[36]Ibid.
[37]P. C. Wright to Theodore Romeyn, March 10, 1865, Case Files of Investigations by Levi C. Turner and Lafayette C. Baker, compiled 1861-1865, Publication 797, Record Group 94, National Archives.
[38]U.S. Judge Advocate General Joseph Holt had published a report, The Order of American Knights, Alias the Sons of Liberty: A Western Conspiracy in Aid of the Southern Rebellion in October 1864.
[39]John A. Dix to E. M. Stanton, March 12, 1865, Case Files of Investigations by Levi C. Turner and Lafayette C. Baker, compiled 1861-1865, Publication 797, Record Group 94, National Archives.
[40]John A. Marshall, American Bastile(Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1881), 230.
[41]John A. Boles, Examination of P. C. Wright, Fort Warren, April 27, 1865, Papers of Joseph Holt, Volume 47, Manuscript Division, Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.
[42]Ibid.
[43]Wright had signed his first oath on January 24, 1863, in St. Louis, Missouri, inserting after the form’s printed text that he would “… support the Constitution of the United States …” the additional words: “and the constitution of the State of Missouri.” Phineas C. Wright, Oath of Allegiance, Union Provost Marshals File of Paper Relating to Individual Civilians, Publication Number M345, Record Group 109, National Archives.
[44]Phineas C. Wright, Oath of Allegiance, Unfiled Papers and Slips Belonging in Confederate Compiled Service Records, Publication Number M347, Record Group 109, National Archives.
[45]The New York Times, August 7, 1865.
[46]John D. Kernan, William E. Rogers, John O’Donnell, Second Annual Report of the Board of Railroad Commissioners of the State of New York for fiscal year ending September 30, 1884, Senate Doc. 8 (Albany, New York, 1885).
[47]New York Daily Tribune, January 29, 1890.

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