Based on a review of pension records:
New York natives John and Maria were married, presumably in New york where they lived for some years. Between 1848 and 1850 they moved west eventually settling in Bennington, Shiawassee County, Michigan by 1850 when Phil was attending school with two of his younger siblings and living on the family farm. By 1860 Philo was probably working as a farm laborer for Hiram Whitaker in Salem, Washtenaw County, Michigan.
He was married to Amanda M. Sage (b. 1848) on January 17, 1864, at Scioto, Shiawassee County.
Philo stood 6’1” with hazel eyes, brown hair and a light complexion and was a 21-year-old laborer possibly living in Bennington, Shiawassee County when he enlisted in Company G on May 13, 1861.
He was a Corporal when he was reported missing in action on May 3, 1863, at Chancellorsville, Virginia, and in fact he had been captured and held briefly by the rebels. According to Homer Thayer of Company G, “Corporal Phil H. Wier and private Abram Ketchum were lost in the attack made by our Division on Saturday night and are reported as missing.”
He was paroled at City Point, Virginia on May 15, and reported to Camp Parole, Maryland on May 18 where he allegedly deserted on June 23, but apparently soon returned to the regiment.
Philo reenlisted on December 24, 1863, at Brandy Station, Virginia, crediting Bennington, was presumably absent on veteran’s furlough in January of 1864 and probably returned to the regiment on or about the first of February. He was wounded on June 10 near Cold Harbor, Virginia, was hospitalized soon afterwards and was still absent wounded when he was transferred as Sergeant to Company F, 5th Michigan Infantry upon consolidation of the 3rd and 5th Michigan Regiments on June 10, 1864.
Philo died from his wounds on June 16 or July 1. Dan Crotty former color guard and member of Company F, wrote some years after the war that while he was visiting another 3rd Michigan comrade, Sergeant Dietrich, in a field hospital near Petersburg, Virginia, he learned “that Corporal Wier, who carried my colors, has been shot dead. . . .”
He was originally buried on the Henry Bryan property near Meade Station, Virginia, then reinterred in City Point National Cemetery: section E, grave 2496.
In December of 1864 Amanda was living in Bennington, Shiawassee County, when she applied for and received a widow’s pension (no. 44659). In May of 1865 Amanda married Alfred Doyen in Corunna, Shiawassee County; she would eventually divorce him for physical abuse and cruelty. Amanda was living at 1035 S. Main Street in ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, when she died in 1923.