Capt. R. E. Wright. – In the county of Barbour, Ala., there is probably no more prosperous a planter than R. E. Wright, and a no more worthy gentleman or one higher in standing among his neighbors. He was both in Taliaferro county, Ga., in 1838. His father, John Wright, was born in Warren county, Ga., where he married Miss Sarah Dozier, a native of the same county. There he resided, engaged in planting, until 1852, when he came to Alabama and settled in Barbour county, followed his vocation of planter and died in 1872, his widow following him to the grave in 1878. He was a Freemason, and, with his wife, a member of the Methodist church, and stood high in the estimation of both brotherhoods. Although opposed to secession, he furnished five sons to the Confederate army on the disintegration of the states.
Rev. Richard Dozier, the father of his spouse, was a local preacher of considerable prominence and brought many of his hearers within the fold of the Methodist church. Of the eleven children born to the marriage of John Wright and Sarah Dozier, Captain Wright was the fourth in order of birth.
There were four girls and seven boys in this family, and of the latter sex, five bore arms in the Confederate army, and all in the Fifteenth Alabama infantry, viz.: William, who died soon after the first battle of Bull Run; John L., who fought all through the war in the army of Virginia, and left a leg at the second fight at Manassas, died in peace at Brewton, Ala., in 1891; Henry C., who was all through the desperate struggle, but who was neither captured nor wounded, is now a resident of Texas; Thomas D., who entered the army at the age of sixteen, was killed at Chickamauga.
R. E. Wright, after the toughening experience of a farm life in his earlier years, and having also the advantage of an academic education-and having graduated at a business college at Pittsburg, Pa., in 1859, had been teaching school for a year or so, and was preparing for college when the war of secession interrupted his studies and teaching and brought him into the ranks of the Midway Guards July 1, 1862. At Fort Mitchell he was commissioned second-lieutenant of company B, Fifteenth regiment of Alabama infantry, under the command of Colonel James Canty and afterward commanded by Col. W. C. Oates, member of congress from the third congressional district for many years past. The regiment was ordered to Virginia, and Mr. Wright fought valiantly through the valley campaign under Jackson. He took part in the Seven days’ fight around Richmond, was in the Rappahannock campaign, was promoted captain of his company in 1862, and at the second Manassas battle was shot through the left lung and also the right shoulder. Of course these wounds disabled him for duty, and after lingering in camp for nearly a year, often times at the point of death, he was compelled to resign his well-deserved commission and return to his home, where for many years he was under the treatment of skillful physicians. But he survived all this torture and is now one of the best citizens of Bullock county.
After his recovery from his wounds he taught school until his health broke down, but, nothing daunted, resorted to farming as a health restorative. Later he embarked in the mercantile business at Harris, and carried on both merchandising and planting until 1891, when he relinquished storekeeping, but continued planting in Barbour county, where he owns twelve hundred acres of productive land. He now resides in Midway, Bullock county, in order to give his children the facilities for a good education. Capt. Wright is engaged in diversified farming, stock-raising, etc., to which he is very much devoted. As to farm produce he raises ample for his own wants, and as to live stock he markets fine Jersey cows, Poland-china hogs, horses and mules. Mr. Wright has always been popular among his fellow-citizens. For eighteen years he served as justice of the peace, resigning that office in 1891, when he became a citizen of Bullock county. He also served in the state legislature as representative from Barbour county in 1886, but declined a second nomination for that office. The marriage of Mr. Wright took place, in 1865, to Miss Louisa P., daughter of Joseph and Nancy (Glass) Maddux, who removed from Newton county, Ga., to Barbour county, Ala., before the late war began. Mrs. Wright is a native of Newton county and is the mother of four children, two daughters and two sons. Both Mr. and Mrs. Wright are devout Methodists and are active church workers, Mr. Wright having been a steward of the church and a Sunday-school superintendent for many years at Spring Hill, and has been honored with the same positions since removing to Midway.