Philip R. Woodcock was born in Canajoharie, NY on January 16, 1840. He was raised in Springfield, NY, Otsego County and at the age of 20, married Roby Jane Pierce in 1860. She was originally from Warren, NY in Herkimer county. They had their first son two years later on February 1, 1862 and named him George Ellisworth Woodcock after Philip's brother. Sometime later that year, Philip joined his brother George in fighting for the Union troops. He enlisted as a Private on July 23, 1862 in Springfield, NY with the 121st New York State Infantry division. One month later in August, he was promoted to Corporal at Camp Schuylor, Mohawk, NY and much later, on February 22, 1865 was promoted and commissioned 1st Lieutenant. During his tenure with the 121st, he participated in 17 major battles and 14 minor engagements and skirmishes. He was wounded in September of 1864 in Fisher's Hill, VA. On June 25, 1865, he received an honorable discharge by the general order of the War Department. At that point, the surrender at Appomattox, which he was present for, was nearly two months behind him. It was finally time to return to his beloved Roby and little George.