The information for this page was submitted by Harold Wright, one of our long time submitters. Additions, corrections, or comments should be submitted to Betty Miller and Betty Phillips, your hosts for Pickens County, AL. Typographical and transcription errors will be happily corrected, however, no alterations will be made to the original document, additional information will be added as submitter's notes or as additional informational material.
Josiah E. Wright Family
Josiah E. Wright, also known as "CAT" Wright was born in Georgia, possibly Wilkes or Warren County, November 20, 1824 to his parents, Elliott and Nellie Worth Wright. One of the first records of Josiah Wright is his marriage to Tinsey Garner on 20 September 1848 in Tallapoosa County, AL. They are then shown in the 1850 Tallapoosa County, AL. Census, Township 24, with a baby son, John Warren Wright. Josiah is shown as being 25 years old and Tinsey 23 years old. To date, extensive research has not revealed any ancestors of Tinsey Garner. Josiah and Tinsey Wright had four more sons, Elias Garner (b. 10 June 1850), Erastus Belcher (b. June 11, 1853), William Milford (B. February 8, 1855) and James Benjamin Wright (b. March 29, 1866). Due to the lack of 1860 U.S. Census documents on Josiah Wright, we are not sure as to where the last 4 sons were born but can speculate that Elias, Erastus and William Milford Wright were born in Tallapoosa County, AL and James B. Wright in Pickens County, AL.
Sometimes in the 1850s or early 1860s, Josiah, Tinsey and 4 of their children migrated westward from Tallapoosa County, AL.in east AL. westward to Pickens County, AL. in the Ethelsville/Gore community near the AL-MS line. Unconfirmed reports and interviews of Wright descendants indicate that Josiah and Tinsey Wright may have resided in Tuscaloosa County, AL. for a period until moving to Pickens County.
The next official documents found are the Civil War records and pension application papers of both Josiah and Tinsey Wright. When the call to arms was made in the Confederate States, Josiah E. Wright joined Company D, 42nd Alabama Infantry Regiment at Carrollton, AL. on March 31, 1862 as a Private for a period of three years. The 42nd AL Infantry was formed in nearby Columbus, MS. in May 1862 and entered combat at Corinth, MS. It was then dispatched to Vicksburg, MS. where it was captured July 4, 1863 when the besieged Confederate forces under LT GEN. Pemberton, CSA, surrendered to GEN. U.S. Grant, USA. Official records have a copy of the surrender and oath paper Private Josiah E. Wright signed on July 10, 1863. The 42nd was exchanged and reformed in Demopolis AL. then proceeded to North GA. and participated in the battle of Lookout Mountain and Missionary Ridge near Chattanooga, TN. Later, a battle ensued on May 16, 1864 at Resaca, GA. where Josiah E. Wright was wounded when he was shot in the shoulder. Official papers from Spanish Fort, AL. near Mobile show that he was injured and in the Ross Confederate Hospital in Mobile, AL. September 27-October 1, 1864 and October 29-November 10, 1864. The 42nd AL Infantry then moved to North Carolina where it fought at Bentonville, NC. His last Civil War record indicates that he was mustered out of the Confederate Army at Bentonville, NC. on May 17,1865 when LT. GEN. R. Taylor, CSA, surrendered to MAJ. GEN. E.R.S. Canby, USA.
After his Civil War service of 3 years, Josiah Wright returned to Pickens Co, AL. and he and Tinsey Garner Wright had their 5th son, James Benjamin Wright born March 29, 1866. No record can be located for Josiah Wright and family in the 1870 Pickens or any other AL. county. However, they are listed in the 1880 Pickens County, AL. census, page 558C (handwritten page 30) as living in the Yorkville (now Ethelsville) beat #6. Josiah is shown as 54 years old, Tinsey as 54 years old and James as 14 years old. It also shows Josiah as a farmer and that both of his and Tinsey's parents were born in Georgia. Records in the Pickens County, AL. Courthouse, Book D, Pages 142-143, reverse deed index, indicate that Josiah E.Wright purchased 13 acres of land in Section 23 and 180 acres in section 23, township 19, range 16 west from J.T. and Mary D. Rickman on March 5, 1888 for the sum of one hundred and twelve dollars. This farm and house where Josiah and Tinsey Wright lived still stands today on Delma Road approximately 2 miles SE of Ethelsville, Alabama. Record extracts indicate that James B. Wright bought a part of this farm and owned it until 1943 when sold to Jobie Brownlee who had married a Wright descendant.
On July 23, 1889 Josiah E. Wright applied for a pension under the Alabama Act of February 28, 1889 for Confederate soldiers maimed and injured during the late (Civil) war. He again applied for a pension for disability on May 18, 1891 and listed his occupation as a farmer. However, there is no official record that Josiah Wright was awarded a pension from the State of Alabama for his Civil War injuries.
Josiah E. Wright died on October 15, 1891 while living in the Gore community near Ethelsville (formerly Yorkville), AL. His death is listed in the book " Deaths, Marriages and Confederate Soldiers". Pickens County, AL.,1841-1931, page 90, with a note that he was known as "CAT" Wright. After extensive searches for burial records, his final resting place is speculated to be Christian's Rest (Wright) cemetery on Hwy 75 one mile north of U.S. Hwy 82 and Ethelsville, AL. Basis for this statement is that he resided in this community on Delma Road, that his son, Ras(Erastus) Wright and wife are buried in this cemetery and there are two unmarked pieces of concrete next to Ras Wright's tombstone. In June 2004, a tombstone for Josiah E. Wright was placed next to his Son, Ras Wright, in honor of his service to the Confederate States Army (CSA).
On May 21, 1897, Tinsey Garner Wright applied for a widow's pension to the State of Alabama listing her residence as the Gore community in Pickens County, AL. She applied again for a widow's pension on April 30, 1898 and on May 26, 1900. In the last application, she listed her assets as 2 cows valued at $30.00. On July 23, 1900, the Pickens County,AL. Pension Board approved her application for a Civil War widow's pension as a class 4 applicant but no value of the pension was given. On her last application, it was stated that she was unable to appear at the Pension Board hearing due to old age and physical disability. To date, we have found no record of her death date or burial location so died "after 1900" has been used in genealogy records.
Prepared by: Harold E. Wright, 104 Huron Cove, Madison, AL 35758 (Gr Gr Grandson of Josiah E. Wright), Aug 2005