[Return to table]



Wharton, Arthur Dickson 

From https://archive.org/stream/tennesseeinwar1800wrig/tennesseeinwar1800wrig_djvu.txt

Born in Alabama. Formerly midshipman, U. S. Navy. Acting master, September 24, 1861; lieutenant for the war, February 8, 1862; second lieutenant, February 8, 1862; first lieutenant, January 7, 1864, to rank from April 29, 1864; first lieutenant, Provisional Navy, June 2, 1864, to rank from January 26, 1864. Imprisoned for refusing to take the oath of allegiance to the United States, 1861 ; released, February 12, 1862; C. S. steam ram, Arkansas, 1862; ordered to Selma, Alabama, November 8, 1862; reported November 21, 1862; C. S. S. Tennessee, Mobile Squadron, 1863-64
Wharton, Arthur Dickson, 2nd Lt., Capitol, ORN I-23, pg 698.

     From Smith's Civil War Biographies from the Western Waters, pg. 258 -- In March 1861, "he attempted to resign his commission, but was arrested and imprisoned, until exchanged at Richmond, VA, in January 1862. Wharton was appointed a CSN lieutenant on February 8, and, shortly thereafter, was sent to Memphis to take a berth aboard the ironclad Arkansas, then abuilding in that city.  From April into July, he participated in the craft's outfitting and  then fought in all of her battles in the Yazoo and Mississippi Rivers." He escaped her destruction above Baton Rouge 6 Aug. He was later assigned to the William H. Webb, the Missouri, the Tennessee II, and was the executive officer of the ironclad Richmond of the James River Squadron. "In 1886, President Grover Cleveland appointed Wharton a member of the USNA board of visitors."


     His obituary from the Confederate Veteran


     Prof. A. D. Wharton, the gallant lieutenant of the Confederate navy, has passed away, and we are again reminded that the honored heroes of the cause we loved will soon have passed into history.

     Prof. Wharton was born at Mt. Pleasant, Ala., July 19, 1840; and died in Nashville, Tenn., April 3, 1900, in the sixtieth year of his age. His early education he received from the public schools of Nashville, and entered the Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1856, and was graduated from there in 1860 with honors in a class of forty, with Admiral Schley, Commodore Case, Commodore Watson, and others who have made great names for themselves in the history of our country. After finishing his education, he at once entered the naval service and at the time the civil war broke out, in 1861, was cruising in South American waters near Montevideo, and ranked as lieutenant. He told the captain of his intention to join the Confederacy, and desired to reach home as soon as possible for this purpose. He was in charge of the vessel, and though six thousand miles from hoe he took his bearings and drove her safe into port without a bobble. When in sight of land for the first time, and the lighthouse could be seen off Charleston harbor, the captain asked him what lights those were, and when he answered the question, he was accused of taking the vessel into a hostile port, the captain not believing his statement. His reply was: "Captain, so long as I wear this uniform, I shall be loyal to this cause. But when I reach the land and lay aside this uniform, I shall espouse the cause of my people." ... He gave up the most brilliant prospects in life as a naval officer to serve his own part of the country in the cause of his love because he believed this was right. Regard for principle was the dominant element in his character. He was in the Confederate navy on vessels in the Mississippi and Red Rivers, where he did valiant service. He was on the ram Arkansas when the gallant dash was made at Vicksburg. He was afterwards lieutenant on the battleship Tennessee, and fought in the decisive battle of Mobile Bay, firing the last gun. He had sighted the gun, and it was about to be fired, when his comrade standing by his side was instantly killed by a shell from the enemies' gun, which struck the Tennessee, shivering it, a splinter taking off the top of his comrade's head, whereupon Lieut. Wharton fired the gun himself. He was then forced to surrender, as the ammunition was all exhausted. He was for some time a prisoner. At the close of the war, in 1865, he returned to Nashville, the home of his boyhood, where he spent the remainder of his days in as valiant service as he had rendered in war.

     The end was a fitting close to such a life. Peacefully, patiently, bravely he passed away, with perfect trust in God, ending his life in the triumphs of a living faith. The Confederate veterans have laid away one of their best soldiers, the Confederate cause one of its staunchest supporters, and the Church one of its most valuable and beloved members, [and] the home one whose place can never be filled. A useful life is ended. A bright spirit is perfected, and heaven is the richer for his presence. 


[Return to table]


Use back button to return.