Wednesday is Veterans Day. Which got me to thinking about the veterans in my family. And I’m not talking about Vietnam or Korea or even World War II. I’m reaching back to the days before West Virginia was even a state! It was during the Civil War that West Virginia seceded from the Union and became it’s own entity.
In doing my research I found that I had plenty of family on either side of that fracas–some wearing blue and some wearing grey. My great great grandfather David Phillips had quite a few first cousins, the sons of William and Mehitable Gould Phillips, who fought in the war. They included:
Franklin – The eldest Phillips son was a member of Co. E, Sixth West Virginia Cavalry, late Third Infantry. He was wounded and captured, but lived to father ten children by two wives. He died November 26, 1899.
Herbert (Cudge) – The fourth son was taken prisoner at Franklin in Pendleton County on May 25, 1862. He was sent to Libbey Prison and was never seen again. He had one child–Jerome.
James – A member of Co. E, Third West Virginia Infantry, James was killed at the Battle of Cross Keys, Virginia. It was around the same time Franklin and Cudge were taken prisoner.
Lafayette – Another member of Co. E, Third West Virginia Infantry, Lafayette survived the war. He married Elizabeth Cogar and had seven children. He died November 13, 1907.
Lothrop – His first enlistment was in Co. E, First West Virginia Light Artillery. He re-enlisted in the First West Virginia Cavalry. He survived the war and had eight children.
Mortimer – Somehow, Mortimer ended up in the Sixth Illinois Infantry. He died February 28, 1885, in Illinois.
In 1976, Mona Phillips Morgan wrote this:
The New England patriotism of the Phillips family was renewed in its Upshur County branch during the Civil War. We are proud to say no Upshur County Phillips had to be drafted in that war. There are thirteen Phillips names listed.
Most of the Phillipses were fond of hunting and fishing. They did not strive for wealth although they lived well, and had plenty to eat and wear. They were honest, law-abiding people who always stood for the right and were ready to defend and protect the flag of our country.
They had a common purpose, that of building a nation under God. They had high hopes for their descendants.
As one of those many descendants, I like to think their hopes are still being realized.