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T.H. Phifer

T.H. Phifer

Confederate (CSV)

Private

Thomas H. Phifer

(1843 - 1862)

Home State: Louisiana

Branch of Service: Infantry

Unit: 2nd Louisiana Infantry

Before Sharpsburg

About age 18, then studying to be a lawyer, he enlisted in Company D, 2nd Louisiana Infantry on 11 May 1861 in New Orleans.

On the Campaign

On 16 September 1862 he wrote his father a letter from Harpers Ferry:

I improve this the first opportunity of writing to you since our advance from Gordonsville. We have been constantly on the march since that time and although we have seen some hard service we have had a very interesting time.

We penetrated into Maryland until within twenty miles of the Pennsylvania line-we then turned abruptly to the left and after some hard marching by a circuitous rout finally came up in the rear of Harpers Ferrey, We have been shelling this place of such renouned strength for two days. This morning bout nine o'clock They ran up a white flag about as large as a sheet, and made an unconditional surrender of all their force Infantry Cavalry and Artillery, Consisting of about thirteen thousand Infantry-Cavalry and about forty pieces of their best Artillery. Also large quantities of Commissary and Quarter Masters Stores.

Our loss was very severe at Manassas. Our company went in with twenty men and came out with four, but hundreds of Yankees fell before our Brigade. Their loss in from of us was about three times as large as our own. We have only had ten men in our Company since the battle, but we have received four or five recruits today.

There is a great battle going on beyond the Potomic now, but I have not heard any of the particulars. Before you receive this you will hear of one of the greatest victories over the Yankees ever yet gained. Next you will hear of peace be declared sooner.

I have some hopes of wintering at home this year. O, I would be the happiest mortal alive if I were permitted to do it. I have enjoyed most excellent health all the time. We get abundance of all kinds of fruits which is a great help to our army. Sometimes we have to eat fruit in order to make our rations hold out. I do not know when I will get an opportunity of sending this letter off. Please write to me often.

You know I will not have much time to write now but you shall hear from me every opportunity. Our wounded are all getting along well.

Nothing more at present from Your Affectionate son

T. H. Phifer
He was killed the next day in action at Sharpsburg.

The rest of the War

He was originally buried on the field at Sharpsburg near "Mrs. Lucker's" [Locker] barn and probably reinterred at Hagerstown in about 1874.

References & notes

Burial information from Pruett1. Service data from Booth2. His gravesite is on Findagrave, source also of his picture from a photograph of unknown provenance posted by Mike Richardson.

More on the Web

His wartime letters have been transcribed online by descendant Janice Yenni Clark. The originals were bound and placed in the Mansfield, LA, library.

Birth

1843; De Soto Parish, LA

Death

09/17/1862 Sharpsburg, MD; burial in Washington Confederate Cemetery, Hagerstown, MD

Notes

1   Pruett, Samuel, and Poffenberger & Good, Greg Farino and Western Maryland Regional Library (WMRL), Washington Confederate Cemetery, possible burials, Hagerstown (MD): WHILBR, 2010  [AotW citation 4903]

2   Booth, Andrew B., Records of Louisiana Confederate Soldiers and Louisiana Confederate Commands, 3 Volumes, New Orleans: State of Louisiana, 1920, Vol. 3, Book 2, pg. 131  [AotW citation 13162]