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Notes for William Riley Phillips

1850 census Jennings, Scott Co., IN Household #74 page 196
John T. Phillips, age 31, farmer, b. NC
Emiline, age 25, b. IN
James H., age 7, b. IN
William R., age 5, b. IN
John A., age 3, b., IN

1860 census Jennings, Scott Co., IN page 1071 Household 1181/1147
John T. Phillips, age 41, farmer, b. NC
Emeline, age 35, b. IN
James H., age 17, b. IN
William R., age 15, b. IN
John A., age 13, b. IN
George A., age 8, b. IN


1880 Graham, Jefferson Co., IN image 19 ED 117
William R. Phillips, farmer, age 35, IN/NY/IN
Julia, wife, age 32, IN/KY/IN
Wilbur J, son, age 11, IN/IN/IN
Otis A., son, age 9, IN/IN/IN
Stephen, son, age 7, IN/IN/IN
Clyde C., son, age 4, IN/IN/IN

1900 Graham, Jefferson Co., IN image 7 ed 82
William Phillips, head, June 1845, age 54, IN/NC/IN
Julia Ann, wife, Oct 1847, age 52, IN/KY/IN
Murat S., son, July 1874, age 25, IN/IN/IN
Clyde E., son, Jan 1875, age 24, IN/IN/IN
Carrie M., daughter, May 1881, age 19, IN/IN/IN
Eugene A., son, Dec 1884, age 15, IN/IN/IN
Pearl D., daughter, Mar 1888, age 12, IN/IN/IN
Maude E., granddaughter, April 1900, age 1/12, IN/IN/IN

1910 Graham, Jefferson Co., IN image 23, ed 79
William R. Phillips, age 64, head, IN/NC/IN, farmer, served in Union army
Julia A., age 62, wife, IN/KY/IN md 42 years, 7 births, 7 surviving children
Eugene, age 25, son, IN/IN/IN md 0 years
Camia, age 21, daughter-in-law

1920 Graham, Jefferson Co., IN image #9 ed 96
William R. Phillips, age 74, IN/NC/IN
Julia A., age 72, IN/KY/IN

----- Original Message -----
From: Carole Fried <>
To: Kari Northup
Sent: Thursday, September 19, 2002 7:03 AM
Subject: Re: Hi Cousin

Hi Kari,
Thanks for writing back. I'm really dying to find out where this family originated from in Europe. My mother, Doris (Phillips) Miller, seems to think her father's side was English/Scottish. My grandparents started out in Deputy, Indiana, but had homelanded a farm in North Dakota in the 20s, so don't know whether or not they were in Deputy or North Dakota (near LaMarr ND) in 1920. Actually, my grandfather's name was Stephen Mural PHILLIPS. So, he was a descendent of Thomas and Martha. I think I've heard of Ken Phillips...didn't know there was a book, but do have a copy of the research he did which does give a brief chronological history of the Phillips family going back to Thomas H. Phillips...I had forgotten he was the one who "split" for Missouri. I grew up in Indiana (Indy), but am now in Georgia, where I have husband and 2 (grown) children. Yes, I'd love to know about your side of the family. Sounds like Thomas was a scoundrel or Martha was a witch. Just goes to show how decisions we make in life to have long-lasting consequences doesn't it. If he hadn't left Martha, you might not be here... Glad you are!
Thanks again!

----- Original Message -----
From: Carole Fried <>
To: Kari Northup
Sent: Friday, September 20, 2002 6:47 AM
Subject: Re: census records

Hi Kari,
Thanks for this. I remember Eugene (Gene) and Camia (Aunt Cammie). Wonderful, giving people. Everyone loved Aunt Cammie). Pearl, too. It was interesting to learn that my great-grandfather served in the Civil War. My mother never mentioned that, if she knew. I'm going to call her this morning. She was the youngest child, so my grandfather was just about middle-aged it appears when she was born. Thanks so much!

Excerpts from Phillips Family book written by John Phillips 1986 & Ken & Lucille Phillips 1994:
WILLIAM RILEY PHILLIPS was born June 20, 1845 in Jefferson County, Indiana, according to pension papers. Formally, he was William R. Phillips; informally, he was called Riley. No one knows why he had the name but a cousin born five years earlier was named Willey Riley Arbuckle. When he entered the army in 1864, he was 5 feet 6 inches tall, light complexioned, had blue eyes and dark hair. He had no marks or scars. When he was 17, a Confederate army invaded nearby Kentucky, Brother Harvey joined the home guards, but apparently Riley was too young. But on January 4, 1864, when he was 18, he and Harvey enlisted in the regular army for three years. Indiana was not drafting soldiers then, so the enlistment apparently was totally voluntary. He once said he enlisted in Jefferson County although he then farmed in Alpha in Scott County. But his first muster roll lists his residence as Graham township of Jefferson County and states he was enrolled in Columbus, Indiana. The Jefferson County address seems erroneous as he probably had farmed with his parents in Scott. He was mustered on February 23, 1864. Like Harvey, he collected $300 bounty. He apparently got $60 of it when he enlisted and the final $80 upon discharge. He and Harvey served in Captain James Tobias' Company K of the 120th Indiana Volunteers. After Tobias died in 1865, James Hudson became company captain. Colonel Richard F. Barter commanded the 120th, which was part of the First Brigade of Army of the Ohio. Brigadier General Alvin P. Hovey commanded the brigade and Major General John M. Schofield commanded the Army of the Ohio, which was virtually synonymous with the Twenty-third Army Corps. The Army of the Ohio was part of the 100,000-man army in the west commanded by General William Tecumseh Sherman, On March 13, 1864,Riley was promoted to corporal and the next day was on a muster roll taken in Indianapolis. He apparently didn't get a furlough until several months after the war ended a year later. He answered muster through August 1864 but records for September and October 1864 are missing. From then on, until as late as October 31, 1865, he was marked present.

No list of the battles Riley fought in has been found, but older brother Harvey once listed the ones he'd been in. As Riley and Harvey apparently served side by side throughout the war, further details of Riley's service are included in the chapter on Harvey. Riley was in the battle of Atlanta July 22, 1864, a day often called "Black Friday." Private John H. Rogers of Company K declared years later that "during the Atlanta campaign, on or about July 22, 1864 . . . while on a forced march on double-quick time, being ordered to reinforce General McPherson, [Riley] was overcome by heat to a degree termed 'Sun Stroke'..." Actually, McPherson had been killed that day and been succeeded by General John Logan. After a lull in the fighting, about 4 p.m.. Confederates under General Benjamin Cheatham fell upon one of Logan's regiments, then broke the Army of the Tennessee's line, which was adjacent to the Army of the Ohio's line. "It was important that the position should be recovered. " Harpers magazine reported. "Batteries were moved from Schofield's line to a commanding position enfilading the enemy, and while these poured in their continuous fire, Logan and a portion of Schofield's force drove the enemy from the field, recapturing. . . . two batteries."

Union General Oliver Howard remembered that the Confederate commander, John Bell Hood, "hurried forward Cheatham's division to attack Logan all along the east front ... I sat beside Schofield and Sherman . . . and we looked out upon such parts of the battle as our glasses could compass. Before long we saw the line of Logan broken, with parts of two batteries in the enemy's hands. Sherman put in a crossfire of cannon, a dozen or more, and Logan organized an attacking force that swept away the bold Confederates by a charge in double time." Riley recalled that "our division was marched six or seven miles on double quick to reinforce General McPherson." It was a hot day, Riley wasn't used to Georgia's Julys and he collapsed. In his report to General Henry Halleck in Washington, Sherman noted that Logan "held a certain hill by the right division of the Seventeenth Corps." (Logan had commanded the Fifteen Corps and General Blair the Seventeenth. Both had been McPherson's corps). Sherman told Halleck that Logan "fought the battle out . . . unaided save by a small brigade sent by my orders from General Schofield to the Decatur Road . . . but that brigade was not disturbed, and was replaced that night by a part of the Fifteenth Corps next to General Schofield, and General Schofield's brigade brought back so as to be kept together on its own line." When Riley and Harvey were mustered out at Raleigh, North Carolina, as corporals January 8, 1866. Riley owed $13.40 for clothes but the army owed him his final $80 in bounty.

Riley and Julia Ann Stewart got a marriage license in Madison in Jefferson County, and on December 12, 1867, the Rev. Mahan of Jefferson County married them. Neither had been married before. Their marriage made a blood bond between the Phillips and Smith families; Riley's father had been raised by Robin Smith, and Julia's grandmother was Robin's sister. Riley and Julia had John Wilbur in 1868, Otis Asberry in 1871, Stephen Murat in 1873, Clyde Carleton in 1876, Carrie Mae in 1881, Eugene Arthur in 1885 and Delia Pearl in 1888. In 1869, Riley moved to Hendricks County, Indiana, where he lived till 1873, when he moved back to Scott County. On February 8, 1888, he filed in Jennings County for a veterans pension as an invalid. He said he farmed in Jefferson County and had made O'Connor & Prather of North Vernon in Jennings County his pension agents, which apparently would explain why he didn't file in Jefferson County. He said he's entered Company K January 10, 1864. He said that he's never been in any other branch of the service, indicating, apparently, that he hadn't joined the militia with brother Harvey. He said that during the Atlanta Campaign he'd suffered a sunstroke that left him with vertigo and heart disease, and, further, that he had contracted digestive problems, "catarrh of the head and disease of liver ..." But he said that, although three-fourth disabled, he'd never been hospitalized.

On March 20, 1888, the Bureau of Pensions asked the army's adjutant general for verification. It was provided May 16. The army reported that Riley had been enrolled as a recruit for three years January 4, 1864 in Columbus and included data about K Company's muster rolls. On January 28, 1896, Alexander Shepherd, 54, of North Vernon in Jennings County appeared before a notary and said he'd known Riley before they enlisted and that they served together in K Company. He said Riley had been healthy before the war but "that during the Atlanta Campaign, during a forced march on the 22nd day of July 1864, our division was marched six or seven miles on double quick to reinforce General McPherson. Phillips was overcome with heat from the effects of which he had blindness and dizziness and I remember that he had to be [led?] and especially at night and [I] also remember of assisting him on marches in the night and he claimed it was caused by the results of the forced march." On January 31, 1896, neighbor Franklin A. Stewart, 52, of Alpha, appeared before a notary in Scott County. Stewart said he'd known Riley since he was a boy and that Riley had been "stout and healthy" until he joined the army. Stewart said that after Riley returned from the army, "he has suffered with catarrh trouble, nervous prostration, disease of the liver and piles . . . that he is "much broken down in health, often confined to his house," and "is not able to do hard work." On February 1, 1896, Harvey went to Edwin E. Peregrine, a notary, and swore an affidavit for Riley. Harvey said he was 52 and lived in Alpha. He reiterated Riley's problems, mentioning the Atlanta campaign, and said he thought Riley was three-fourths disabled. On February 4, 1896, John H. Rogers, 49, of Slate, Jennings County, swore an affidavit in that county, describing Riley's sunstroke, as mentioned earlier. Rogers said he'd seen Riley "several times each year after he was discharged, up till about 1883, when I rented him a farm which he occupied for several years. While living on his farm, he was treated by Doctor John M. Lyie, who is now dead, for nervous prostration, which presented symptoms of paralysis and which the physician pronounced the result of sun-stroke." Roger said Riley was three-fourths disabled. On February 5, 1896, Malisa (L.?) Gudgel, 53, of Deputy appeared before Samuel H. Wilson, a notary and swore that she was Riley's neighbor even before the war, when he was as healthy man. "Of late years," she said, "he had been unable to do any work," and has been "confined to the house a good deal of the time." The same day, Riley appeared before notary Alexander Shepherd to swear he was unable to get the documentation he'd been asked for, because Captain Tobias had died and that he didn't know where the first and second lieutenants lived. Riley asked that he be allowed to submit "evidence of comrades."

On January 30, 1897, Franklin A. Stewart, 53, who lived near Alpha in Scott County, swore an affidavit in that county. He said he'd know Riley since his discharge and that Riley "was broken down in health," "had shortness of breath and smothering spells," "could not walk fast" and "was easily exhausted." He added that Riley was "weak and nervous and complained of swinging in his head. "Stewart estimated that Riley was two-thirds disabled. That same day, Riley appeared before a notary, giving his address as "near Alpha." He said that he was unable to provide doctors' statements because both of the doctors who had treated him had died. He said that after Doctor McClure of Frankfort in Scott County died, he'd gone to Doctor Lyie of Cana in Jennings County. On February 4, 1897, James H. Stewart, 47, of Alpha filed an affidavit, stating that Riley returned from the service "much run down in flesh, was nervous and suffered with prostration and pain in left side and difficulty in breathing and suffered with dizziness," and "could not stand the heat of summer well." On June 28, 1907, Riley, who gave a Deputy address in Jefferson County, swore a pension declaration before James D. Robertson, a notary in that county. (The late Robin Smith's son-in-law named James D Robertson would have been about 87 then.) Riley said that he was not a pensioner and was applying under the act of February 6, 1907. He said that since leaving the army he had lived in Hendricks, Jennings, Scott and Jefferson counties, all in Indiana. Two friends vouched for him. William A. Hord said he'd known Riley for 15 years and William H. Arbuckle said he'd known him for 20. The pension office validated the application. On or not long after September 19, 1907, Riley answered two questionnaires from the Bureau of Pensions. He provided vital data, saying that "we have a Bible record," and said that although he then lived in Alpha, he'd lived in Hendricks County four years and Jennings County four years. On October 9, 1907, Riley appeared before James D. Robertson again to swear an affidavit that Robertson wrote on a letterhead reading "Deputy Canning Company, Deputy, Indiana." Riley swore that there was no public record of his birth, that there was no baptismal record and that his father's family record had "been lost or destroyed." He also said the "the former statement filed in your office by him is true in every particular ..."

Julia died September 30, 1921. Riley died February 25, 1923, They are buried in Pisgah Cemetery adjacent to the Pisgah Methodist Church near Old Paris and Deputy, Indiana. An apparent relative, Ezekiel Phillips, had been one of the church's founders in 1818. Riley's pension check for $50, dated March 1, 1923, was returned by the postmaster and Riley was dropped from the pension rolls. The rolls indicated that he got his last monthly payment of $50 on February 4, 1923.
Myron Phillips remembers his grandfather "being not a big man in stature, but jolly and driving a team to the mill, for flour and feed . . . One horse always running off when a steam locomotive would pass by the mill, which was located on the B&O Railroad tracks in Paris Crossing. One time I asked him where he got the clothes he was wearing. He said something about the government gave them to him. I wasn't very old when he died so, being pretty-young, I thought it was a soldiers uniform but now I can't see how that could be.

"When Grandpa and Grandma Phillips were living in their later years, Sunday School picnics were big events for almost all the churches in this area. Each church sent groups on decorated wagons drawn with horses and led by riders on horseback. These horses were also decorated with bright colored ribbons over the saddles and plumes on the horses' heads. Prizes were given for different events and contests. One contest was the one between the drum choirs. Each church community had one. My dad played the tenor drum in ours. I can remember Grandpa Phillips playing the bass drum, looking almost too big for him to carry as they march into the contest. "When Grandma and Grandpa Phillips were living, I can remember our family get-togethers. They seemed pretty numerous. We young folks played and enjoyed ourselves while the older ones visited. Some of the get-togethers were for the purpose of visiting someone of the family who had come to visit from great distance. At the end of the day of visiting we, the young ones were brought back into the house to hear some 'Uncle Jack" records and good old-time music played on that nice Edison Victorola of Garndpa's and Grandma's. (We didn't own one at that time). The records were cylinder shaped. Grandpa and Grandma Phillips were thrifty and always seemed to have the things they needed. They were a close family. I remember visits of Uncle Addison, Aunt Mary and Uncle Almond, who always kept us laughing, and I remember of Uncle Harvey but not of seeing him. Descendants Marguerite (Trulock) Bloom says Riley suffered from hunger during the war and "learned how to suck raw eggs and eat raw oysters." She and other relatives remember that, during the war, Harvey or Riley wrote letters home to younger brother John Almond Phillips, urging him not to join the army. The letters are said to have burned in a fire at the home of their sister Mary (Phillips) Christie. Bernice Parker said that Riley and brother Harvey both had been interested in marrying Julia but that Harvey had stepped aside in favor of his brother. Bernice considered this fortunate because, she said Julia was too high-strung for the impatient Harvey. (John, Tom)