John Sergeant Wise

John S2. Wise in military uniform

John Sergeant Wise (December 27, 1846 – May 12, 1913) was an American author, lawyer, and politician in Virginia. He was the son of Henry Alexander Wise, a Governor of Virginia, and Sarah Sergeant.

John was born in Rio de Janeiro in 1846, while his father was U.S. Minister to the Empire of Brazil. He lived as a youth with his father and others at Rolleston, their plantation on the Elizabeth River outside Norfolk, Virginia. His father served as a US Congressman before being elected as Governor of Virginia in 1856. After being privately tutored as a youth, Wise attended Virginia Military Institute.

Still a student when the American Civil War began, Wise served with the VMI Corps of Cadets at the Battle of New Market. Ordered to guard the Cadets' baggage train, he defied those orders to stay there, and took part in the Cadets' famous charge. After the battle, Wise accepted an officer's commission in the Confederate States Army.