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This Day in Georgia History

January 16, 1837

James Phillip Simms Born

Lawyer and Confederate general James Phillip Simms was born in Covington, Ga. A lawyer before the Civil War, he served as a major in the 53rd Georgia in 1862. As a colonel, he was at the battles of Fredericksburg, Salem Church, Gettysburg, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania. He commanded Bryan’s brigade in the Shenandoah Valley campaign and Cedar Creek. In December 1864, he was promoted to brigadier general and commanded Simms’ Brigade in Kershaw’s Division at Petersburg and Sayler’s Creek. After the war, he resumed the practice of law. He died May 30, 1887 in Covington.