Battery Phillips (1862-1864) - A Union U.S. Civil War Battery established in 1862 at Corinth, Alcorn County, Mississippi. Named Battery Phillips after Captain Edwin D. Phillips, (Cullum 1576), the battery commander. Abandoned in 1864. Also known as Fort Phillips.
Battery Phillips was one of six batteries erected in and around Corinth, Mississippi as a part of an inner defense against an expected Confederate attempt to retake Corinth after they had evacuated it during the Siege of Corinth. Battery Phillips was established by Captain Frederick Prime, (Cullum 1450) on the College Hill line in late September and October 1862. The battery was commanded by Captain Phillips, and manned by Companies A, B, and H, of the 1st U. S. Infantry.
The Union outer line of defenses around Corinth consisted of batteries A thru F. It was feared that these batteries were so widely separated that a concentrated attack could break through and compromise the whole defense. The inner line was built to provide rearward protection for these batteries and a fallback position should they be flanked. These fears were realized during the Battle of Corinth when the Confederate forces captured Battery F on the evening of 3 Oct 1862.
The six inner batteries were considered "Siege Batteries", armed with larger caliber guns enclosed in fort like redoubts. The siege gun Batteries were operated by the 1st U.S. Infantry contingent under Captain George A. Williams. Large caliber armament in the six batteries included 30-pounder Parrott guns, 8-inch howitzers, and 64-pounders. The 8-inch howitzers were particularly lethal because they could lob shells above a battery or mass formation and rain down some 450 balls of .69 caliber with a single shell. Six 8-inch mortars had been ordered to Corinth and there is evidence that at least four of them were used during the battle by Batteries Madison, Phillips, and Williams.
In the Official Report of Capt Williams about the operations of the siege batteries he says:
"I opened with three 30-pounder Parrott guns, immediately followed by Battery Phillips, commanded by Captain Phillips, First U. S. Infantry (situated about 600 yards southwest of Battery Williams), with an 8-inch howitzer, which enfiladed the rebel battery."
"About 4 o'clock on the morning of the 4th cannonading by the enemy commenced, and after daylight, in addition to the assaults on Battery Robinett and other points of the field, heavy skirmishers took place in front of College Hill. During the morning the First and Second Brigades were also withdrawn to College Hill, and twice the enemy attempted to assault Battery Phillips, his columns supported with artillery approaching behind a ridge running nearly parallel to our line. Each time the head of his column was suffered to approach within short musket-range, when Battery Phillips and the light pieces of this division opened upon him so hotly that he hastily retired."
The battery commander Captain Edwin D. Phillips, (Cullum 1576), 1st U.S. Infantry, did not survive the war. He died from an unspecified disease in New Orleans, Louisiana on 26 Nov 1864 at age 37. His friends had his body embalmed and sent to the West Point Cemetery at the United States Military Academy from which he had graduated on 1 Jul 1852.
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