A Civil War Biography

Pleasant J. Phillips

Phillips was born around 1824 in Georgia. He was a longtime member of the Georgia militia and most of his war experience was with the state forces. His service in the Confederate Army was as colonel of the 31st Georgia Infantry which he was named on 19 November 1861. The 31st was sent to Virginia but before seeing action in Virginia Phillips resigned on 13 May 1862.

He returned to Georgia and was named brigadier general of the state militia. He commanded the 2nd brigade, 1st division of the militia during the Atlanta campaign. When John Bell Hood took his army into Tennessee the militia remained behind.

When William T. Sherman began his march to the sea on 15 November 1864 the Georgia militia was sent towards Macon, Georgia to counter Sherman's moves. Phillips, commanding a division of militia, accidentally collided with Union troops commanded by Charles Walcutt. Walcutt who had set out on 22 November 1864 had driven some of Joseph Wheeler's cavalry beyond Griswoldville then retired to a position at Duncan's Farm and fortified it with logs and rails. The Union troops, armed with Spencer repeating rifles easily repulsed several attacks which Phillips insisted on making. Phillips division took heavy casualties, estimated to be as high as 650 killed and wounded. Phillips after needlessly wrecking his command withdrew. He remained in command serving in other operations against Sherman until the latter left Georgia. Phillips died in 1876.

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