Captain Nathaniel Green Philips (a.k.a. N. G. PHILLIPS)
Company I, Thomas' Legion of Cherokee Indians and Highlanders
Date Enlisted: July 24, 1862
Residence: Cherokee County
Commissioned: 2nd Lt., July 24, 1862; 1st Lt., January 7, 1864; Captain, October 1864(?)
Captain Willis Parker tendered his captain resignation on December 26, 1863, by reason of age and ill-health, and mustered-out at Bull's Gap,
Tennessee. General Samuel Cooper recorded Parker's resignation for the Adjutant and Inspector General's Office (A&IGO)
on January 7, 1864. (Confederate War Record, National Archives). On January 7, 1864, Captain Joseph Anderson Kimsey assumed command of Company I, Thomas' Legion.
Thomas' Legion Muster Records: Company I – Cherokee County – Willis Parker,
Captain, and Jos. A. Kimsey, [Joseph Anderson Kimsey] Captain; Sol. E. Egan, First Lieutenant, all of Cherokee county; N. G. Philips [Nathaniel
Green Philips], First and Second Lieutenant, and P. B. Gailer, Second Lieutenant, both of Graham county. Number
of officers and men, 109.
On July 24, 1862, Company I initially mustered as Company D, Walker's Battalion, at Valleytown, Cherokee County, North Carolina. On September 27, 1862, when the Thomas Legion officially mustered at Knoxville,
it became Company I, Infantry Regiment, Thomas' Legion. After the Battle of Cedar Creek, October 19, 1864, Companies C and
I were temporarily consolidated under the command of Captain Nathan G. Philips. Company I was also involved in the Skirmish at Hanging Dog (includes details and contributions of Company I and Nathaniel Green Philips).
John H. Stewart's account of Company I, Thomas' Legion of Cherokee Indians and Mountaineers: "Col. Thomas sent Captains Commissions to J. W. Cooper of Cheoah and Willis Parker of Valley River late in 1861 or early in 1862 and asked each of them to get up a Company to join his Regiment. They each
made up a Company, Cooper's Company camped at what is now Robbinsville. Parker's Company camped at what is now Marble and
called it Camp Valley Town. I joined Parker's Company. Both Companies drilled at their camps for a short time and then were
ordered to Chilhowie [Chilhowee: as the crow flies, it is about 20 miles from Andrews, NC], Tennessee and there drilled until
further orders. From that time until near Christmas 1864, the two Companies were together in the 69th Regiment part of Thomas'
Legion. They were together every day, in camp, on the march and in battles."
N. G. Philips*
letter to Col. Cathey, December 24, 1863. The letter
reflects Cherokee County's lawlessness and depredations (also see Shelton Laurel Massacre):
[Cherokee County] NC
Dec 24 1863
Col Cathey sir the condi
tion of this county renders
it untenable the yankies
and Bushwhackers have
it, & I will have
to move my family out
& as I will soon have
to Return to the army
I want to move
in to your county
& my Father is a good
miller & if you have
a good mill he will take
& he can bring as good
a Recommendation as you
may desire. I want a house &
8 or ten acres of land
for my family & my
father & mother want
to ____ go with me
I hope you will try
to help me I have
in the Service nearly three
years & my family has not
got provisions to Do them
a month & the
the Bushwhackers &
Yankies has Ruined this
County so it is impossible
for them to stay here
me hear from
you by the first mail
as what I do I must
do promptly Direct your
*N. G. Philips, Valley Town, North Carolina, to Col. Cathey, December 24, 1863. Philips writes that wartime
conditions in Cherokee County, North Carolina, have made life in his area untenable and seeks Cathey’s assistance in
relocating his family to another area before he has to return to military service. Nathaniel Green Philips of Cherokee County,
North Carolina, initially enlisted in Company D, 25th North Carolina Infantry Regiment, in June, 1861, and subsequently served with the Thomas Legion. Philips was sometimes spelled Phillips in the census
The real Private W. P. Inman, portrayed by Jude Law in the movie Cold Mountain, was a Haywood County highlander who served in Company F, Twenty-fifth North Carolina Infantry Regiment.
Credits: (North Carolina Troops,
vol. 7, p. 396). Courtesy of Hunter Library, Western Carolina University.
Reading: Storm in the Mountains: Thomas' Confederate Legion of Cherokee Indians and Mountaineers (Thomas' Legion: The
Sixty-ninth North Carolina Regiment). Description: Vernon H. Crow, Storm in the Mountains,
dedicated an unprecedented 10 years of his life to this first yet detailed history of the Thomas Legion. But
it must be said that this priceless addition has placed into our hands the rich story of an otherwise forgotten era of
the Eastern Cherokee Indians and the mountain men of both East Tennessee and western North Carolina who would fill the
ranks of the Thomas Legion during the four year Civil War. Crow sought out every available primary and secondary source by traveling to several states
and visiting from ancestors of the Thomas Legion to special collections, libraries, universities, museums, including
the Museum of the Cherokee, to various state archives and a host of other locales for any material on the unit in
order to preserve and present the most accurate and thorough record of the legion. Crow, during his exhaustive fact-finding, was
granted access to rare manuscripts, special collections, privately held diaries, and never before seen nor published photos
and facts of this only legion from North Carolina. Crow remains absent from the text as he gives a readable
account of each unit within the legion's organization, and he includes a full-length roster detailing each of the men who
served in its ranks, including dates of service to some interesting lesser known facts.
Storm in the Mountains, Thomas' Confederate Legion of Cherokee Indians and
Mountaineers is presented in a readable manner that is attractive to any student and reader of American history, Civil
War, North Carolina studies, Cherokee Indians, ideologies and sectionalism, and I would be remiss without including the
lay and professional genealogist since the work contains facts from ancestors, including grandchildren, some of which
Crow spent days and overnights with, that further complement the legion's roster with the many names,
dates, commendations, transfers, battle reports, with those wounded, captured, and killed, to lesser yet
interesting facts for some of the men. Crow was motivated with the desire to preserve history
that had long since been overlooked and forgotten and by each passing decade it only sank deeper into the annals of obscurity.
Crow had spent and dedicated a 10 year span of his life to full-time research
of the Thomas Legion, and this fine work discusses much more than the unit's formation, its Cherokee
Indians, fighting history, and staff member narratives, including the legion's commander, Cherokee chief and Confederate
colonel, William Holland Thomas. Numerous maps and photos also allow the
reader to better understand and relate to the subjects. Storm
in the Mountains, Thomas' Confederate Legion of Cherokee Indians and Mountaineers is highly commended, absolutely
recommended, and to think that over the span of a decade Crow, for us, would meticulously research the unit and
present the most factual and precise story of the men, the soldiers who formed, served, and died in the famed Thomas
Recommended Reading: North Carolina Troops, 1861-1865: A Roster (Volume XVI:
Thomas's Legion) (Hardcover) (537 pages), North Carolina Office of Archives and History. Description: The volume begins with an authoritative
246-page history of Thomas's Legion. The history, including Civil War battles and campaigns, is followed by a complete
roster and service records of the field officers, staff, and troops that served in the legion. A thorough index completes
the volume. Continued below.
of North Carolina Troops: A Roster contains the history and roster of the most unusual North Carolina Confederate Civil
War unit, significant because of the large number of Cherokee Indians who served in its ranks. Thomas's Legion was the creation
of William Holland Thomas, an influential businessman, state legislator, and Cherokee chief. He initially raised a small
battalion of Cherokees in April 1862, and gradually expanded his command with companies of white soldiers raised in western
eastern Tennessee, and Virginia.
By the end of 1862, Thomas's Legion comprised an infantry regiment and a battalion of infantry and cavalry. An artillery battery
was added in April 1863. Furthermore, in General Early's Army of the Valley, the Thomas Legion was well-known for its fighting
prowess. It is also known for its pivotal role in the last Civil War battle east of the Mississippi
River. The Thomas Legion mustered more than 2,500 soldiers and it closely resembled a brigade. With troop roster, muster records, and Compiled Military Service Records (CMSR) this volume
is also a must have for anyone interested in genealogy and researching Civil War ancestors. Simply stated, it is an outstanding
source for genealogists.
Recommended Reading: The Life of
Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy (444 pages) (Louisiana State University Press) (Updated
edition: November 2007) Description: The
Life of Johnny Reb does not merely describe the battles and skirmishes fought by the Confederate foot soldier.
Rather, it provides an intimate history of a soldier's daily life--the songs he sang, the foods he ate, the hopes and fears
he experienced, the reasons he fought. Wiley examined countless letters, diaries, newspaper accounts, and official records
to construct this frequently poignant, sometimes humorous account of the life of Johnny Reb. In a new foreword for this updated
edition, Civil War expert James I. Robertson, Jr., explores the exemplary career of Bell Irvin Wiley, who championed the common
folk, whom he saw as ensnared in the great conflict of the 1860s. Continued below.
About Johnny Reb:
"A Civil War classic."--Florida Historical Quarterly
"This book deserves to be on the shelf of every Civil War modeler and enthusiast."--Model Retailer
has painted with skill a picture of the life of the Confederate private. . . . It is a picture that is not only by far the
most complete we have ever had but perhaps the best of its kind we ever shall have."--Saturday Review of Literature
Recommended Reading: Tracing
Your Civil War Ancestor Hardcover). Description: It is tantalizing
to speculate about the role your ancestors may have played in the great national drama of the Civil War. But family records
are often inaccurate, or provide precious few leads on where to begin the search. Now, experienced historian Bertram Hawthorne
Groene shows you how easy it is to trace your forbearers' role in the war, where and how long they fought, whether they were
Union or Rebel, soldier or sailor -- even with a minimum of information. Continued below.
Tracing Your Civil War Ancestor provides you with:
-- The names and addresses of all state archives.
-- Names and addresses of institutions that hold microfilmed service records
from the national archives.
-- Names and publishers of useful regional Civil War reference books.
-- Names and publishers of sourcebooks for identifying Civil War weapons
-- And much more.
Historians, genealogists, antique dealers, and collectors of Civil War artifacts
will find this concise guidebook of great value. But most of all it is of inestimable practical value to family historians,
North and South, who are discovering the pleasure and satisfaction of compiling an accurate family history. "[A] must have
for the individual researching Civil War soldiers, ancestors' military service records, Union and Confederate army records,
compiled military service records (CMSR), and for the family genealogist." If you are remotely into genealogy, then this book
is for you.
Recommended Viewing: The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns. Review: The
Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns is the most successful public-television miniseries in American history. The 11-hour Civil War didn't just captivate a nation,
reteaching to us our history in narrative terms; it actually also invented a new film language taken from its creator. When
people describe documentaries using the "Ken Burns approach," its style is understood: voice-over narrators reading letters
and documents dramatically and stating the writer's name at their conclusion, fresh live footage of places juxtaposed with
still images (photographs, paintings, maps, prints), anecdotal interviews, and romantic musical scores taken from the era
he depicts. Continued below...
The Civil War uses all of these devices to evoke atmosphere and resurrect an event that many knew
only from stale history books. While Burns is a historian, a researcher, and a documentarian, he's above all a gifted storyteller,
and it's his narrative powers that give this chronicle its beauty, overwhelming emotion, and devastating horror. Using the
words of old letters, eloquently read by a variety of celebrities, the stories of historians like Shelby Foote and rare, stained
photos, Burns allows us not only to relearn and finally understand our history, but also to feel and experience it. "Hailed
as a film masterpiece and landmark in historical storytelling." "[S]hould be a requirement for every