Stephens-Wright Cemetery Ceremony
Submitted by Jason Bordeaux
September 2009
Columbus County, NC

Confederate Ceremony Honors the Service of 18 Members of the Wright Family from Columbus County, NC

This unedited article was written for the Tabor City Tribune and The News Reporter (Whiteville) by Jason Bordeaux

On Sunday, September 27th, 2009, over 50 descendants of Stephen & Millie Ann Wright gathered at the Stephens-Wright Cemetery in the Hardee Woods near Tabor City to honor the service of their Confederate ancestors and to commemorate the installation of new military headstones that were previously placed for each soldier.
Capt. Todd Collins, Company D, 20th Regiment N.C. Troops, led the dedication ceremony along with 7 other men.  Richard Wright of Tabor City scheduled the ceremony and asked Collins and his men to come.  Also present from Company D were Pvt. Corbett Booth and Pvt. Jamie Vause.  Present from Company K were Capt. Derrick Smith, 1st Lt. Mark Lewis, 2nd Sgt. Scott Eshelman, 3rd Sgt. Ken Massey, and Pvt. Darrell Hayes.  All men are members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, but the ceremony was a volunteer effort.
The Stephens-Wright Cemetery is located off of Peacock Road (SR 1005) about 5.5 miles SE of Tabor City.  Descendants drove to the cemetery, which is about 0.6 mile back in the woods, after attending the annual Wright reunion in Tabor City.
Capt. Collins and his fellow soldiers marched into the cemetery shortly after 2 pm to begin the ceremony.  Capt. Collins thanked Richard Wright for the honor of allowing his men to attend.  Capt. Collins asked Richard to open the ceremony.
Richard Wright noted that Stephen Wright Sr. (1800-1852) and Amelia Ann “Millie Ann” Fowler Wright (1802-1869) were the parents of 11 sons who served in the War Between the States.  3 sons-in-law and 4 grandsons also served.  Of the 18 men who represented the family during the Civil War, 12 were honored with markers at the Stephens-Wright Cemetery.  Others are buried in nearby cemeteries.
Over the past 3 years, Layton Dowless of Whiteville and Jason Bordeaux of Randleman have erected military markers to honor the memory of the Wright soldiers who served.
Capt. Collins asked Layton Dowless and Jason Bordeaux to say a few words.  Layton stated that he was honored to have been allowed to erect markers in honor of these men.  Jason noted that it was an honor to place new tombstones for those soldiers whose burial locations have been forgotten.  Many had wooden markers and have never had a stone marker.  The stone markers that do exist are very fragile - many are broken or worn down from the weather.
Of the 18 men who served from the Wright family, it is remarkable that only 3 died during the conflict.
Capt. Collins repeated the phrase “Lest We Forget” several times during the ceremony.  He was reminding us that we should never forget those soldiers who came before us and served this country with honor.
Capt. Collins and his men ended the ceremony with a salute of 3 shots from each soldier’s musket.
The following soldiers were honored at the ceremony:
2nd Lieutenant Isaac Wright (1819 - before 1870)
57th Regt Columbus County, 14th Brigade &
5th Regt Home Guard Columbus County
Private Zechariah Wright (1820 - before 1880)
Home Guard, Columbus County
Private McLennon Wright (1822-1893)
Home Guard, Columbus County
Private Isaac Fowler (1816 - after 1902)
Callihan’s Co, 8th NC Sr Reserves
Private James Calvin Wright (1825 - after 1902)
Home Guard, Columbus County &
Co H, 18th Regt NC Infantry
Private Richard Wright (1826-1876)
Capt. Buie’s Company of Rail Road Guards &
Co E, 2nd Regt NC Infantry
Private John Wright (1831-1912)
Co D, 14th Regt NC Infantry
Corporal William Berry Norris (1830-1910)
Co D, 26th Regt NC Infantry &
Home Guard, Columbus County
Private Kinyon Wright (1834-1914)
Co D, 20th NC Infantry
Private Amaziah Simmons (1821-1864)
Co E, 2nd Regt NC Infantry
Died at the battle of Spotsylvania Court House, VA
Private Stephen Wright Jr. (1836-1918)
Capt. Buie’s Company of Rail Road Guards
Private Fleet Cooper Wright (1838-1862)
Co D, 20th NC Infantry
Wounded at the battle of Malvern Hill, VA;
Died 2 months later of typhoid fever.
Private Simpson Wright (1842-1917)
Co D, 20th NC Infantry &
5th Regt Home Guard Columbus County
Private Hanson Wright (1843-1862)
Co D, 20th NC Infantry
Died at the battle of Malvern Hill, VA
Sergeant Manuel Wright (1843-1929)
Co D, 20th NC Infantry
Private Simeon M. Wright (1845 - )
Home Guard, Columbus County
Private Doctor Franklin Wright (1846-1938)
Co C, 7th Battalion NC Jr Reserves &
Co I, 3rd Regt NC Jr Reserves
Private John W. Wright (1847 - )
Co B, 7th Battalion NC Jr Reserves

Layton Dowless has volunteered his time over the past 4 years to honor our forgotten veterans with military markers.  The markers are provided free by the Veterans Administration and Layton can order markers for any veteran of any war.  If you would like for Layton to order a military marker for your veteran, please contact him at 910-642-4021.  His address is 53 Sherwood Rd, Whiteville, NC 28472.
Jason Bordeaux has written a book detailing the service records of the 18 men who served from the Wright family.  The book gives complete details of each soldier as extracted from the National Archives.  It also shows a picture of all new military markers that have been erected.  Each copy is $15 (shipping included) and you can send orders to Jason Bordeaux, 5024 Leigh Lane, Sophia, NC 27350.