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Private John M Parham

Private John M Parham
Macon Light Artillery
AKA Phillips Legion Artillery

At first glance, one would wonder why a soldier from the Macon Light Artillery is included with those of the Phillips Legion. There is a reason and an interesting story behind this seeming anomaly. During the spring of 1862 when the Phillips Legion's infantry and cavalry battalions had returned south to Hardeeville, SC to recover from the rigors of their winter campaign in the mountains of western Virginia, Colonel William Phillips went to work with Governor Brown in an effort to expand his Legion. After considerable wrangling with the Confederate government at Richmond, Phillips was permitted to recruit three additional infantry and two additional cavalry companies. Research indicates that he was also attempting to add an artillery battery and this unit was the newly organized Macon Light Artillery. Correspondence found in the compiled service record of battery commander, Captain Henry Ells, clearly indicates that his six gun battery, which was organized and in training at Macon, Ga., was assigned to Phillips Legion in May of 1862. The battery did not join the Legion at Hardeeville and continued to train at Macon until the Legion was moved north to Richmond in late July 1862. The battery soon followed but did not accompany the Legion infantry north in the campaign of Second Manassas and on into Maryland. It is not clear precisely when the organizational bond between the battery and the Legion was eliminated but this certainly was done by the beginning of 1863 when the battery was sent to serve in North Carolina. Another peice of evidence that points to the official link between the Legion and the Macon Light Artillery is the fact that many of the battery's members filed for veteran's pensions listing their unit as the Phillips Legion Artillery.

John M Parham was born in Morgan Valley, Paulding County, Ga on October 29th 1841. He was the son of John and Mary Woodward Parham. John was married to Leella Alice Morgan on February 2nd 1869. He enlisted in the Macon Light Artillery on August 22nd 1862 at Calhoun, Ga. and served reliably throughout the war until furloughed home during February 1865. A muster roll for January & February of 1865 lists him as AWOL since 2/23/1865 indicating that he had not returned from Georgia. He must not have been considered a deserter since he was awarded a veteran's pension and also given the Southern Cross of Honor by the Cedartown Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. John was married to Leella Alice Morgan on February 2nd 1869 at the home of her father, Joseph Dossett Morgan. John and Leella produced a remarkable 22 children (including two sets of twins and a set of triplets). Eighteen of the children survived to adulthood. John died on May 28th 1911 and is buried in the Taylorsville, Ga Cemetery. Wife Leella died October 8th 1926 and is buried beside John.

Photo courtesy of Mrs Anita Parham Adair of Savannah, Georgia.

Written by:Kurt Graham