Phillips, a British Army officer and artilleryman, first saw combat at the Battle of Minden during the Seven Years War, where he received a reputation as an excellent artillery officer. Prior to the American Revolution, he served as Commander of Artillery at Woolwich. In 1776 he was promoted to Major General and sent to North America, fighting at the Battle of Valcour Island and the recapture of Fort Ticonderoga, where he famously said “where a goat can go, a man can go, and where a man can go, he can drag a gun” regarding placing cannon on the critical Mount Defiance. He was captured at Saratoga with Burgoyne’s army. After being exchanged for Benjamin Lincoln he was ordered to Virginia with Benedict Arnold (now British), fighting at the Battle of Blandford. He contracted Typhoid Fever at Petersburg, Virginia, dying on May 13, 1781.