The Writing Process — Tennessee Valor (2nd Lt. David Phillips)

Posted on Friday, January 21st, 2011

David Phillips (Co. K) was a teacher before the war.

The Writing Process — Tennessee Valor

5 hours produced 1400 words in Chapter 2. These passages follow the boys of the 7th Tennessee as they are trained to be soldiers. I focused on what life was like at Camp Trousdale, where the boys trained. The regiment left Tennessee, bound for Virginia in July 1861, with the recruits all excited about fighting the Yankees. However, they did not reach Virginia in time for the battle of Manassas, a fact extremely troubling for many.

One of these exuberant young men in the 7th Tennessee was David Phillips. Here is a short bio:

Born 1 April 1839; he stood 5-10, had blue eyes and dark hair.

He grew up in Cherry Valley, Wilson Co.  His parents, David and Mary Phillips were farmers, but their son chose books over the plow. He became a teacher, though only a teenager, and taught at the local school in Cherry Valley, as well as in nearby Watertown.

He enlisted into Company K as a private and served with the 7th Tennessee through all of their battles as a rifleman. He was captured on May 31, 1862 at Seven Pines and sent to Ft. Delaware and remained there until mid August 1862, before being exchanged. He returned to the regiment and was promoted to 3rd Lieutenant on February 2, 1863. He was then promoted to 2nd Lieutenant following the battle of Chancellorsville.

Phillips, who wrote in his journal, “keep good company or none,”  was very close to Archibald ‘Archie’ Norris, also a teacher in Lebanon. Phillips wrote his sister not long after the battle of Sharpsburg, “I must say that all of the regiment are my friends and companions, though my most intimate, my bosom friend is Capt. A. D. Norris.”

At Gettysburg he was captured near the stone wall and sent to Johnson’s Island, where he remained until the end of the war. He returned home, “broken in body,” and because of his health, though he had a sweetheart he never married her. Phillips continued teaching though his damaged health never regained his youthful vigor. He died on May 18, 1869, “the white plague [having] took root in the body.”

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3 Responses to
“The Writing Process — Tennessee Valor (2nd Lt. David Phillips)”

  • Cheryl says: January 11th, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    My great great grandfather, Rev. John Phillips, was a brother to David. I have a copy of A Phillips Family History by Harry Phillips (1935) and he shares David’s diary. I did not know he was taken prisoner a second time. I look forward to your book.

    Cheryl Lane

  • Troyce Phillips Tollison, PhD says: June 25th, 2012 at 12:44 am

    I majored in English/Lit. and History at Clemson University..
    I would like a copy of The Phillips History by Harry Phillips 1935.
    We are volunteering in the geneology department here in Anderson, SC and I found that book in the Clemson University Library. That book is what I need.
    How can I get it?

    Please reply.

    My email is:

    Waiting your reply,


  • Meli Moore says: August 16th, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    To Cheryl Lane, would you be able to send me a little info from the 1935 book by Harry Phillips? I have been searching to find someone with the book who would correspond with me. I do not want to buy the book, as the family in it is not my line. However, my greatgreat grandfather, Hugh Phillips, of Illogan Cornwall and Mineral Point, Wisconsin (1842 immigrant) always said his Phillips family came from Wales. I am most interested in what this book has to say about the Welsh beginnings of Phillips. You can contact me direct at melibob4 at texasbb dot com Thank you. Meli

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