Such a speedy response! Thank you. I'm not sure if you can access my family tree or not, but I may have more clues in there. Beware that not all the extra data, aside from census lists and army records, may be his.
In the census data, his children all say he was born in "Holstein". I've also read "Germany" and "deutshland" (spelling?).
His birthdate is somewhere between 1831 and 1833 according to records.
I don't have any record of any siblings, nor parents. His children are Minnie, Warren "Albertie", Dorothea "Dora", Kittie, and strangely one record of an Anna. Though I believe it may be Kittie's first or second name. It seems to be a strong long tradition in the family to go by second names or nicknames.
In that vein of thought, I should also mention my personal family written record lists his name to be "Christian Ernst Wright", married to Lydia Deming,her father is a Burt. So I'm sure I have the correct person matched as Ernest Wright as the online records indicate.
There is also oral family history from my grandfather that we were "Pennsylvania Dutch" and "Yellow Germans that did not want to fight". Being Canadian myself, I'm woefully unschooled in American history so I'll to look up what these terms mean, but perhaps they mean something to you. I'm not sure whether to assume "yellow German" is regarding colouring (we are all fair with blue eyes, yet someone posted a photo of Ernest as Captain and he seems dark?), or fearfulness of whichever side of some war they didn't want to fight in (but which country?)... Obviously I have some reading to do!
My grandfather also stated that our name was changed from a German version of something actually similar to Wright. Rieth, Reidt, Wreidt, Wrieth, Vreid...these are all German names I ran across online last night. I read lots of immigrants, Jewish for example, took the name John Wright to completely hide their origins, but I don't believe that to be the specific case here. I believe it was more of a matter of naturalization of a phonetic equivalent.
Oh, and one last note: I saw that Ernest was listed as "Invaled: 29 July 1874". I don't know the details as to why. I wonder if he was injured or just old? :) I don't know his cause of death either. Though there's also a some family history of some of the Wright men commiting suicide before 75 due to frustrated boredom and war injuries.Every generation of men after Ernest have joined an army in my line. They seem to think they are work horses, but should be shot once they've lost their usefulness!