Biographical information is limited for Henry X. Wright. A Virginian, he was born in 1835. The collection's earliest document places him on the USN Fulton as an assistant engineer at age 24. The outbreak of the Civil War finds him aboard the USS Pocahontas. In April 1861 Wright tendered his resignation from the United States Navy, which was accepted on May 6, 1861. On May 22, 1861 he was accepted into the Confederate States Navy, with orders to report for duty.
Wright was one of the officers on a highly secretive mission to Lake Erie for the purpose of stealing Confederate prisoners from Johnson's Island in the fall of 1863. Wright went as 1st Assistant Engineer. Only a few officers knew the true mission of the voyage when it began, most believing they were headed to England. John Wilkinson was in command of the complex mission, which was foiled by betrayal and not carried out.
Wright and other officers were commended in a report by Hunter Davidson to Secretary Mallory for their part in torpedo mission against the USS Minnesota off Newport News, VA on April 9, 1864.
A member of the James River Squadron, Wright served aboard the CSS Richmond and later the Virginia II. He was promoted to Chief Engineer in June 1864, shortly afterwards he examined the Drewry and recommended that she be sent for repairs in Richmond. Very likely he participated in the destruction of the CSS Virginia II when Richmond fell to Union forces in April 1865.
From the description of Henry X. Wright papers, circa 1849-1924. (The Mariners' Museum Library). WorldCat record id: 775010819