Sterling Alexander Martin Wood

Monument: Find-a-Grave

Sterling Alexander Martin Wood, a native of Alabama, was born March 17, 1823, at Florence. He obtained his early education in that city. Graduating from the Jesuit College of St. Joseph's at Bardstown, Kentucky, in 1841, he studied law and commenced practice first in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, and later in Florence. He was solicitor of the fourth judicial circuit of Alabama from 1851 to 1857. In the latter year he was elected to the legislature; and in 1860, as editor of the Florence Gazette, he strongly supported John C. Breckinridge for the presidency. He entered the Confederate Army as captain of the Florence Guards. Upon the organization of the 7th Alabama Infantry, Wood was elected its colonel on May 18, 1861. He served with this regiment at Pensacola until February 1862, when he was ordered to take his command to the army being concentrated under General Albert Sidney Johnston in Kentucky. He had meantime been promoted brigadier general on January 7.  After fighting bravely at Shiloh, he headed the 4th Brigade of Buckner's division at Perryville and was badly wounded by a shell fragment. At Murfreesboro and at Chickamauga his brigade was in Cleburne's division. For some reason not readily apparent in the records, Cleburne, in his official report of the latter battle, omitted mention of Wood while praising his other brigade commanders. At any rate, Wood resigned his commission on October 17, 1863, and was not again in service during the war. Going to Tuscaloosa, where his family had taken refuge, General Wood resumed the practice of law and was again a member of the legislature in 1882-83. A member of the law faculty of the University of Alabama in 1889-90, he was also attorney for the Alabama Great Southern Railway from its beginning until his death at Tuscaloosa on January 26, 1891. He is buried in Tuscaloosa.

Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.

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