American Medical Biographies/Wright, Joseph Jefferson Burr

Wright, Joseph Jefferson Burr (1801–1878)

Brevet Brigadier General Joseph Jefferson Burr Wright was born in Wilkesbarre, Pennsylvania, where his parents had long lived, in May, 1801. He received the degree of A. B. from Washington College, Pa., in 1821 and M. D. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1825. Subsequently Jefferson Medical College conferred on him an honorary M. D. in 1836. After practising medicine in his native town until 1833 he entered the Army as assistant surgeon and during the first ten years of his service was stationed at many posts on the frontiers, participating in the operations against the Seminole Indians in Florida, 1841–42, and finally becoming attached to General Zachary Taylor's "army of occupation" in 1846. He was present at the battles of Palo Alto, and Resaca de la Palma, and received special commendation from his commanding officer for efficiency and zeal in the performance of his duties; next he had charge of the general hospital at Matamoras and in the campaign from Vera Cruz to Mexico City he was medical purveyor to the army. Following the Mexican War Surgeon Wright was on the staff of Major General Worth with headquarters at San Antonio, Texas and there he had charge during an epidemic of Asiatic Cholera of great severity. During the Civil War while on the staffs of Generals McClellan and Rosecrans Surgeon Wright participated in some of the engagements in West Virginia and then served as medical director, department of Missouri, under General Halleck. He attained the rank of colonel and brevet brigadier general in 1865 and was retired in December, 1876. He died at his residence in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, May 14, 1878.

General Wright was a man of true soldierly instincts, never permitting personal consideration to interfere with the discharge of duty, and of high professional skill; he was most fair and honorable in all his dealings and had many friends.

He was among the first to use and recommend sulphate of quinine in large doses during the remission in the treatment of malaria. He published articles in Southern Medical Reports.

Med. Rec., N. Y., 1878, vol. xiii, p. 480.
Appleton's Cyclop. of Amer. Biog., N. Y., 1889.