Intelligence of the death of Major CHAS. A. PHILLIPS, sixth son of the late Hon. Stephen C. Phillips was received in Salem last Friday.
Major Phillips at the close of the war began to practice law in Boston, retaining his residence in Salem until last summer. Then he removed to San Francisco where his brother, Hon. S. H. Phillips, is established. In looking after the interests of his clients, Maj. Phillips spent several months in the mining districts of Nevada. On Friday, 17th ult., at Gold Hill, a small mining town near Virginia City, he was suddenly prostrated by a congestive chill, but was not considered hopelessly ill until the following Monday, when he became suddenly worse, and died after an illness of only three days.
Although Mr. Phillips was one of the most modest and retiring of our younger citizens, few men made a better record during the war. At the age of twenty years, a recent graduate of Harvard College, he entered the 5th Light Battery of Mass. Artillery. Although he was the youngest officer in the battery, he came into command at Gaine’s Mills, the first important battle in which they were engaged, and maintained himself in that trying position with such skill and coolness that he received his commission as 1st Lieutenant in the following week. From the siege of Yorktown to the battle at Five Forks he was in constant service in Virginia with his battery, becoming the captain in October, 1862, and commanding a division of artillery at the battle of Gettysburg. His battery was actively engaged at Yorktown, Gaine’s Mills, Malvern Hill, Fredricksburg, Gettysburg, Rappahannock Station, Mine Run, Petersburg, Weldon Railroad, and a dozen other engagements. Placed often in positions where their principal duty was to expose themselves to cover important movements of other portions of the army, this battery was always to be depended upon, and often received commendation in special orders. Maj. Phillips, on necessary occasions, always exposed himself with the utmost coolness; At Gettysburg when fifty-nine of their horses were disabled, he assisted his artillery men to drag away their guns to save them from falling into the hands of the enemy. On another occasion he took a wounded comrade on his horse, to carry him to the rear when a cannon ball killed both the wounded man and the horse without harm to Capt. Phillips. But, though his garments were often pierced with bullets, and his horse shot under him, he escaped the perils of war with out a wound, to die at last in the practice of his profession. He became Major of U.S. volunteers by brevet, and was discharged from the service at the close of the war in July, 1865.
Mr. Phillips was far too modest to push his own fortunes, or make capital of his honorable record; but he carried into the practice of his profession great natural ability, and a fine culture which would have given him a solid success. In his new relations, as files of the Nevada newspaper show, he had won the confidence and friendship of many citizens who attended his funeral with every mark of respect.
From the collection at the Steven Phillips Trust House, Salem, MA