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Bartlett Clark Stephenson Williams

Obituary of Philip Dandridge Stephenson, Richmond, Virginia.

P. D. Stephenson was born September 7, 1845, in St. Louis, Mo., and died March 12, 1916, in Richmond, Va. On May 10, 1861, at the age of sixteen, he was present at Camp Jackson, St. Louis, where Missourians first made armed resistance to the encroaching Federal power. Escaping to Memphis, he joined a St. Louis company which was assigned to the 13th Arkansas Regiment. It was commanded by Capt. T. W. Bartlett, afterwards his brother-in-law, and another member was his brother, Hammett L. Stephenson, who became adjutant of the regiment. As a mere boy Philip Stephenson participated in the fight at Belmont, being wounded; and thereafter, in spite of his minority and poor health, he did his duty manfully to the end. Unfit for field duty, he served as assistant to Col. M. L. Clark, chief of artillery, until able to rejoin his regiment. Though then discharged as a minor, he rejoined the 13th Arkansas, where he served again until he became a member of the 5th Company of Washington Artillery in May, 1864. With this famous command he remained throughout the Georgia campaign, Hood's expedition into Tennessee, and with the fall of Spanish Fort at Mobile. He surrendered at Meridian May 10, 1865. It was his pride to have been one of Cleburne's Division and of the Washington Artillery.

Returning to his home, he followed the pious bent of his nature, and while working for a livelihood he qualified for the Presbyterian ministry and was licensed by the St. Louis Presbytery on April 28, 1875. He served as pastor successively at Trenton, Tenn., Sedalia, Mo., Hancock, Md., Abingdon and Woodstock, Va. When he retired because of failing strength, he went to Richmond, where he was ever at the service of any brother of the pulpit whom he might aid on occassion and where he continued to the end the beneficent work in which he delighted.

His career covers the whole war. Begun by a boy, it was sustained by a youth frail in physique, but strong in character, who, true to his Virginia ancestry, devoted his life to his ideals and was a model soldier. And his service as a soldier in war was rounded out by his no less distinguished deeds as a soldier of the cross in his mature years. Ever brave, conscientious, inspired by high ideals, a nobleman was Phil Stephenson.

[Testimony of G. A. Williams, former captain and adjutant general of Govan's Brigade, Army of Tennessee.]

SOURCE: Confederate Veteran Magazine, June, 1916.

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