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A. D. Wharton
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Birth: Jul. 19, 1840
Death: Apr. 4, 1900

Wharton, A. D., Prof.- p.276, 277 Confederate Veteran Magazine, June 1900-Text:Tribute by his pastor, W. E. Ellis, Nashville: 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 Casey, 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 home 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." This trying time in his life only gave opportunity to reveal the real manhood of his character. With a definite aim in life which he never lost sight of, and deep convictions which he never disregarded, his life as a soldier, a patriot,.and a Christian was marked with that peculiar success that only great spirits achieve. 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. In 1866 he was elected principal of the High School of Nashville, and served in this capacity at different times until his death. He also served on the State Board of Education for a number of years. He was appointed by President Grover Cleveland in 1886 to serve on the Board of Visitors of the United States Naval Academy. At the time of his death he was a member of the State Text Book Commission. He doubtless did more for the cause of education in Tennesse than any man in the State. Nowhere will he be missed more than in his Church. He became a member at the age of twelve years, and for forty eight years he was a consistent Christian. For thirty years he served as superintendent of the Sunday school, and his pupils are now living in many States in this Union. For thirty two years he was an officer in the Church, and for thirty years he was leader of song. His daily life adorned his profession. His religion showed itself peculiarly in a cheerful faith which saw goodness in everything and which gave to him a very superior quality of mind. His temperament seemed to favor the spirit of gratitude that showed itself in everything. He was naturally happy, and like the magnet, which attracts the finer particles of steel, so he drew to himself the more cheerful views of Providence. "Thanks" were his common breathings in prayer. He had caught the meaning of life, and was learning while here the language of heaven and clothing himself in the garments of glory.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, 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. 
Specifically: Nashville, Tenn.
Created by: Paul V. Isbell
Record added: Sep 19, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 97398519


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