Every year, the day after Thanksgiving, my cousin and I give thanks by honoring our distinguished ancestors. This consists of identifying new family cemeteries and maintaining existing ones. This years goal was to find a new one.
My cousin Billy Pittard located the resting place of our 4th Great Grandfather: Julius Howard Williams. There are two Williams family cemeteries in the area. One is located at 12649 Cainsville Rd, Lebanon, TN 37090, the Julius Williams location is about 3 miles southeast on Greenvale Road (it’s on private property).
Julius was the first to settle in Tennessee of this family line. He was the son of Joesph Williams, which is suppose two be buried there too (although no headstones were legible with the name). The original homestead was near a spring down the hill from the cemetery.
Julius owned a racetrack on Cainsville Road where Simmons Bluff intersects. President Andrew Jackson was a friend and raced horses there according to family legend.
His daughter Rebecca Jane (Becky) married out 3rd Great Grandfather Reverend John Phillips. John Phillips died of unknown causes at the age of 40 in April 1862, only about a week after the Battle of Shiloh. His father-in-law Julius died the next month, and we discovered several other Williams family deaths July thru October 1862. #coincidence?
Becky died a year after the war at age 43. Her children (our great grandfathers and their sisters) were scattered to various families in Wilson and Rutherford Counties.
The cemetery has been very well taken care of over the years. In fact, it’s the most intact one we have discovered. If only other landowners were so reverent of the hundreds of small family cemeteries across the region.
May 30, 1995 my father Bobby Henderson took me on a memorable drive with his older brother John Dayton Phillips that changed my life. We toured five family landmarks.
My father was adopted, I learned, about this time. His birth mother Gertrude (Gertie) Henderson Phillips died just two days after dad was born. Robert Wayne Phillips, was the fourth child of Gertrude* and John Korman Phillips. To make matters worse, he was born with the near fatal condition of infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis (projectile vomiting). In 1926 this was usually fatal. His uncle, William Eugene Henderson (W.E.), stepped in and provided for a recently developed life-saving surgery procedure in Nashville. W.E. and his wife Jean subsequently adopted him from their brother-in-law (the original terms of this adoption have been contested by some of the Phillips I have spoken with).
Following her mothers death, the oldest J.K. Phillips sibling, Lucile Phillips (Ceil), was separated from her father John to live with her grandparents: Bettie and Robert Hatton Henderson at the Malone-Henderson home. According to Dayton’s wife Thelma, the 13 year old Lucile desperately wanted to raise her infant baby brother (the photo above breaks my heart). The two other boys, Ed and Dayton, remained with their father Johnny, who eventually remarried and had three more children.
*My paternal grandmother Gertrude, has two marked grave sites: one next to her husband John, in the Roselawn Cemetery in Murfreesboro, and the other in the Malone-Henderson Cemetery on Powells Chapel Road. The latter is where she is interned.
Growing up in Nashville, I had no knowledge of my Phillips ancestory. In 1995, I was moving to Denver, and my father took me out to meet them for the first time in my life. This video captures that experience. It’s a priceless record of family history from Uncle Dayton, Aunt Ceil and my father.
All three parts were shot May 30, 1995.
Part 1 – The Preston Henderson Cemetery on Puckett Road in Norene (formerly Henderson Crossroads) Tennessee. Bobby Henderson and Dayton Phillips:
Part 2 – Lucile Phillips Johns at her home on Mercury Boulevard in Murfreesboro, TN Aunt Ceil displays several family antiques and their history.
Part 3 – The Old General Store. As I recall, this was on Mona Road somewhere. I don’t think it’s still standing. There is a short clip of Eulalia Hewgley at the old Malone home on Powells Chapel Road.
The featured photo is at the Malone-Henderson Old Homeplace: right to left: Ed, Lucile, Bobby and Dayton.
Family members: I am researching 2nd Lt. George Malone of the 18th Tennessee. I will look for his grave in Atlanta this month when I’m down there. My guess is that he was killed in the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain. His regiment was at the Dead Angle, ironically right next to my GGF 2nd Lt. Walter Scott Bearden of the 41st Tennessee. Additionally, their General Joseph B. Palmer was wounded a few days later in the Battle of Jonesboro where my GGF was severely wounded too during the last fight of the Battles of Atlanta.
“We all feel our fathers could not have chosen better women for our mothers than they did, could they have had all the advantages of our modern household arrangements.”…
“I have seen much of the world since I left you seventeen years ago [1862*]. I have lived in five different states of the Union, and visited many more, and know the average standard of morals and of the public conscience in a great many large communities, but I have never yet found the community so nearly free from moral defilement, and with so high an average of moral worth and so high a standard of duty, where manhood and womanhood have fewer stains upon them, than right here in Wilson County, within a circle of five miles from this point as a center.”
Friday, November 24, 2017 • The day after Thanksgiving
• Billy Pittard: (310) 880-7276
• Bob Henderson: (615) 477-0737
9:00 AM – Meet at Walterhill Church of Christ 7277 Lebanon Rd, Murfreesboro, TN 37129 The church is about a mile north of the intersection of Lebanon Road (US 231) and Jefferson Pike. 9:15 – Caravan hits the road!
Just west of Cheat Mountain was the second prong of Lee’s attack at Elkwater, WV. The Union defensive position is an interesting remote site. It was originally an 18th century frontier fort against the Indians. By 1861, the strategic ground had become a cemetery. It’s the only fort I have seen built around a graveyard. Lee was unsuccessful here too. It was know as Camp Elkwater.
Heading due North, I drove through a very quaint small town in Beverly, West Virginia. The town visitor center has a great interpretive area housed in a former courthouse, circa 1801. There are numerous other historic buildings in town. The Battle of Rich Mountain is literally right up the road.
Rolling north into western Pennsylvania, I stopped in Washington, PA for the night. I like to plan my visits for Sunday traffic at the highest congestion points, if at all possible. So it was essential to get Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington D.C. in my rearview mirror by the end of the next day.
Day 4: Southpark Township, PA was a short drive. I arrived early Sunday morning at the cemetery of David Philips, my 5th great grandfather. Reverend Philips, served the Lord here at Peters Creek Baptist Church for 43 years. Prior to that, he was a Captain in the 7th Chester County Battalion, during the American Revolutionary War.
Note: for some reason, the family Tennessee branch changed the name to Phillips with two L’s.
Things were on track for getting to Fort Delaware before the last ferry at 4 pm. This changed at a turnstile on the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The unexpected self-service cash receptacle required closer parking. I had to open the door to reach the cash slot. 100 miles later, I realized my wallet probably dropped out there (it was later found and turned over to police). Fortunately, I had a back up credit card, photo I.D. and cash stashed away.
The delay cost me about an hour, stopping to cancel cards and contact the authorities. If I made good time, I could still get to Chester County, on the other side of the state, and the last ferry to Fort Delaware.
I arrived in the beautiful upscale suburb of West Chester, PA about noon. The secluded Vincent Baptist Church was located on the edge of a wooded park. It was established in 1736, and the Church building is from 1812. The cemetery contained the remains of my 6th great grandfather: Joesph Philips. He is the first generation emigrant from Pembrokeshire, Wales. There were at least 30 more Philips buried around him in a long line. Most of the headstones had new metal tablets, with the inscriptions from 200+ year old, fading headstones.
Shooting four photospheres took about an hour (with a neighbors inquiry about what I was doing there). I was close to the go-no-go point of making it on time to the ferry.
I arrived at 10 minutes to 4 PM at Fort Delaware State Park. The park didn’t take Discover for the $14 fee, but waived the rules to let me write a check (I was hoarding my cash for the unknown remaining tolls).
Fort Delaware was one of the POW prisons my second great uncle David Phillips occupied. He was captured twice during the war, so he got two tours of the fort.
I had a little under an hour and a half to shoot as many 360º’s as I could. During the robot’s fourth gyration, I was talking with some young park rangers about my great uncle. An older park ranger inside heard me mention David Phillips. He came out with a photo of the young lieutenant, which he only received days before. My guess is their social media director caught a few tweets I have done recently about David and the fort.
Heading south from Delaware, I used up my last $3 on the final toll booth of my journey near Baltimore. I hate turnpikes! Arrived late at The Hampton Inn near Fredericksburg, Virginia.
I knew that a massive tire failure, one hour into the 2000 mile trip, was a bad omen. Two cans of fix-a-flat were ineffective on the defective one year old Continental rear tire. The $100 transport to the nearest Discount Tire store was performed by the best wrecker operator I have ever used*. We had lots of stories to share. It was an entertaining two hour diversion.
*Patrick, with Ron’s Towing of Sparta, even knew were the hidden towing eyelet was for the wench on my 530i. He educated me, NEVER let a tower use the wench as the only front secure-point. Each wheel should be tied to the bed rails.
$35 new Michelin Pilot Road 2, courtesy of the Discount Tire Road Hazard plan. Thank you Discount Tire!
Stoped for a short visit with high school buddy Scott Michael Sefsik on Center Hill Lake. Calculated a re-route, destination Kingsport for the night @ 3 hours.
Great sundown at Sunset Rock just past Sparta! (site of my first Rock Repel with Camp Widjiwagan). Got the last bracketed 100 image photosphere, just as the sun hit the horizon.
Day 2: Left Kingsport for Emory & Henry. Beautiful campus! Toured the 1836 Wiley Hall building, where my Great-Great Grandfather Walter Scott Bearden attended, before and after, the American Civil War. Beautiful campus! Wiley Hall is the site of the original college building, also used as a Confederate Hospital. In 1864 it was the location of a famous murder: a wounded U.S. Army officer shot in bed by Confederate Guerrilla raider Champ Ferguson.
Heading north, I stopped at Saltville, Virginia just up the road. “The Salt Capital of the South” was a Southern strategic resource. Salt was the primary means of preserving meat for the Civil War armies. A large battle was fought here in October 1864. The wounded were taken to Emory & Henry College not far away.
Pressing north into Western Virginia, I drove through the most scenic part of the Appalachian Mountains I have ever traversed. This is home to the George Washington and Jefferson National Parks. It reminded me of the Smoky Mountains, without all the tourists.
Warm Springs Virginia was home to David Phillips and the 7th Tennessee for the month of December in 1861.
Camp sites were plentiful at Hidden Valley Campground (no online reservations) just west of Warm Springs. I was pleasantly surprised to get a private Friday night camp site with vacancies on both sides. Firewood was plentiful not far from the site. New Bucket List Addition: Beautiful old Bed & Breakfast Mansion in this scenic valley: Hidden Valley B&B. Wish I had taken a pano here.
Day 3: I followed the 7th Tennessee’s trail north-west to Cheat Mountain, WV, site of Robert E. Lee’s first offensive of the Civil War. At 4000′ above sea level, it is the highest known Civil War fort in the country.
A road trip down the Bearden, Maxwell and Phillips history trail, including battle sites of the 7th Tennessee and cemeteries of my first two generations of Phillips in America. 360º imagery will be captured wherever possible.
I am a direct descendent of Captain Walter Scott Bearden, 41st Tennessee CSA, Private James Jarvis Maxwell, 4th Tennessee Cavalry U.S. and John Bond Henderson, 4th Tennessee Cavalry CSA| Uncle (G3) Lt. David Phillips 7th Tennessee CSA, and Great (G3) Cousin Major Shelah Waters 4th Tennessee Cavalry U.S.
National Archives: research will be conducted on Lt. David Phillips III, David Phillips, II and Major Shelah Waters
The second generation of my American ancestors, resided in South Park Township, Pennsylvania. David Philips was born in Wales in 1742 and migrated with his fathers family to Chester County, PA in 1755. He is the son of Joseph and Mary Philips, our first American Ancestor (A1).
Possible Location of the Philips Home
American Immigrant Generation II – REV. DAVID PHILIPS
“The Reverend/Captain David Philips was emphatically the leading clergyman of the pioneer days of Peters Township (now South Park Township, PA). He was born in Wales in 1742, and emigrated from that country to America with his father’s family, settling in Chester County, PA. He married during his residence at that place, and in 1783 came into Washington county and took out a warrant for land which now lies in both Allegheny and Washington Counties. This tract of land was surveyed to him as 390 acres, under the title of ‘Norwich’, and he obtained the patent for it March 4, 1786.”
“This quotation from the History of Washington County, PA., (1882), page 891, gives an insight into the life of service of that great pioneer Baptist preacher, David Philips, eldest son of Joseph.”
“Following his years of heroic service in the war (The American Revolution), David Philips accepted the Macedonian call to what was then the American frontier, in Washington County, southwestern Pennsylvania. He was ordained by the Peters Creek Baptist Church in his new home, and was immediately called to the pastorate thereof. At the same time he supplied the Finleyville, Elizabethton and Budd’s Ferry Churches.”
“The Rev. David dedicated a portion of his land to the Peters Creek Church, and assisted in the erection of a roomy log Churchhouse. This structure served the congregation throughout his ministry, and was replaced with a brick building in 1832. The Peters Creek Churchhouse stands today on the land which David Philips donated and dedicated to it a century and a half ago.”
Join the fight for liberty and independence?
“All four were active in organizing the Seventh Battalion, Chester County Militia. David Philips was Captain of Company 2, and Josiah a 2nd Lieutenant. All four brothers distinguished themselves for bravery. Joseph Jr. was an Ensign in the same battalion. Josiah was an associator and acted as scout when the army was at Valley Forge. John Philips was taken captive in New Jersey and in confinement in a prison ship at New York, where he was ministered to by his devoted wife.”
“It is recorded in the D.A.R. Lineage Books that the four brothers raised the company and distinguished themselves with bravery and heroic suffering.”
‘The Phillips Family History’ by Harry Phillips • Published by The Lebanon Democrat • 1935
Two of David’s sons John and Benjamin, migrated to Tennessee in 1797* The Phillips name changed to two “L” after that migration.
Bass Road, Cherry Valley, Tennessee (private property)
David Phillips, son of John and Mary Phillips, was born in Washington, County Pennsylvania December 11, 1794. Migrated to Tennessee at the age of three with his parents. He is our 4th American generation (A4) and the second David Phillips of that line.
Married Mary “Polly” Waters December 14th, 1820. She was the daughter of Shelah Waters, whom the city of Watertown is named.
“David was a soldier in the War of 1812*, family lore says he fought with Gen. Andrew Jackson at New Orleans. The War of 1812’ files in the Tennessee State Library at Nashville show that there were 138 soldiers by the name of Phillips in the war and six of these were named David. One was a corporal under Colonel Benton, one was a corporal under Captain Gibbs, The three were privates under Colonel Lowry, Colonel Coffee and Captain McKee, and one was a drummer under Major Woodfolk.”
‘The Phillips Family History’ by Harry Phillips • Published by The Lebanon Democrat • 1935
The site of the War of 1812 soldier David Phillips Sr. is located on Bass Road in Watertown, Tennessee. His son Lt. David Phillips (CSA) is also buried there. There are also several U.S.C.T. headstones.
David’s N.S. U.S.D. marker is incorrectly located at his fathers cemetery on Hale Road a few miles away.
John Phillips: eldest son of David Phillips (1794-1846), he is the 5th generation of American ancestors (A5), and the second John of that line. He was my Great-Great Grandfather.
“John Phillips was born on his father’s farm near Cherry Valley, Tennessee, October 23, 1821, and married Miss Rebecca Williams December 5, 1845. He joined the Round Lick Baptist church in young manhood, and on the fourth Sunday in April, 1848, was ordained a Baptist minister. Going into the work actively from the very beginning, he held pastorates at Barton’s Creek, Cedar Creek and Providence, and in June, 1852, was called as pastor of the Fall Creek Baptist church at what is now Norene, Tennessee, which position he held until his death. He also did wide evangelistic work.* John was administrator of his father David’s estate. In addition to his activities as a minister, he owned and operated a 284-acre farm in the 18th district of Wilson County. He had eight children: Mary Ann Frances, William Anderson, Margaret America, Julius Wilson, Martha Jane Howard, John Houston, J. R. Graves and Sarah Rosetta. John Phillips died prematurely and unexpectedly.”
*Grime’s History of Middle Tennessee Baptists, pages 249-250
Letter from John’s brother who was fighting in Virginia with the 7th Tennessee (CSA):
“Thus have I seen one of my fondest earthly hopes decay.”
“December 4th . Got a letter from John [brother] from which I learned he was about to volunteer.”
“May 10th . The events that have transpired since the first have been too extensive and important to attempt to record them here . I will have to leave them to memory to keep. Much of toil, weary marching, sleepless nights and hard fighting has fallen to the lot of this army since it left Yorktown. By the Gracious Providence of God I am here sound and unhurt. While I am preserved from the dangers of camps and the battlefields , sad news comes to me from home. Intelligence has come to me that I have lost a dear, much-beloved brother [John].Oh, how distressingly sad it is to be so completely cut off from home that I cannot know only perchance whether loved ones there live and are well or laid low by disease and death . Fondly had I cherished hope that I would meet that beloved brother again, but death hath separated us. Thus have I seen one of my fondest earthly hopes decay. The next stroke may remove me from those who will be left behind . Yet how consoling it is to think of meeting him in Heaven. There we shall know no separation. It is the sacred hope of meeting my friends in Heaven if not on earth that animates my soul and nerves my arm to withstand the temptations of life around me, endure the afflictions of the soldier and willingly risk my life on the battlefield. This life is full of desperations and dangers, full of sorrow and grief, but in the next oh how happy all shall be who while here love God and keep His commandments!”
‘The Phillips Family History’ by Harry Phillips • Published by The Lebanon Democrat 1935
Most Phillips men lived way past the average mortality rate (about 44 years in 1860). A previous ancestor reached 101. The Phillips clan also had a very high percentage of their children reach adulthood, also very rare for the times. The odds of Rev. John Phillips dying of natural cause in April 1862 at age 40, is rather low.
Joesph Phillips (A1) – age 101
Reverend David Phillips (A2) – age 87
John Phillips (A3) – age 84
Rev. John died on Tuesday April 15th, 1862, seven days after the epic Battle of Shiloh (April 6-7, 1862). Corinth, Mississippi (retreating point of the Confederate Army) would have probably taken seven days by horseback to Watertown, Tennessee (205 miles via the Florence, Alabama Tennessee River crossing point @ 30 miles per day).
Killing Pro Confederate Preachers? Coincidence? We will probably never know.