Dear Mr. Johns,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
We searched the National Archives Catalog and located Carded Records Showing Military Service of Soldiers Who Fought in Confederate Organizations , 1903 - 1927 in the War Department Collection of Confederate Records (Record Group 109). While some service records in this series have been digitized and are available online, we were unable to locate a file for Phillip Johns in the digitized records.
To order Civil War service records that have not already been digitized, please fill out a NATF Form 86 and mail the completed forms to the address listed on the form. You also may place your order online using eservices.archives.gov. For more information see Requesting Copies of Older (pre-WWI) Military Service Records.
The National Archives has multiple series related to Confederates who were captured or killed. Please see our response to a previous question about Records of captured and dead Confederate soldiers for an overview of some of the relevant record series as well as links to online resources. For more information, please contact the National Archives at Washington, DC - Textual Reference (RDT1) at Archives1reference@nara.gov.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and pursuant to guidance received from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), NARA has adjusted its normal operations to balance the need of completing its mission-critical work while also adhering to the recommended social distancing for the safety of NARA staff. As a result of this re-prioritization of activities, you may experience a delay in receiving an initial acknowledgement as well as a substantive response to your reference request from RDT1. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your understanding and patience.
There also may be relevant records at the state archives of whichever state sponsored his unit.
The National Park Service’s Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System (CWSS) is a database containing information about the men who served in the Union and Confederate armies and navies during the Civil War. We searched the CWSS Database and located 1 result for a Confederate soldier named "Johns, Phillip". If this is not a match for the person you are researching, you may wish to search for alternate spellings, initials, and other variants.
Please note that because of the circumstances of the war, not all soldiers are accounted for and not all Confederate records were acquired by the federal government.
Also very few states kept official death and birth records during and prior to the 1860s. We suggest reviewing the FamilySearch Wiki page on United States Vital Records.
The drowning may have been reported in a local newspaper.The Library of Congress’ website Chronicling America provides free access to some historic newspapers and information about locating additional papers. Also, many newspaper articles are available through various subscription online newspaper archives.
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!