Private Philip A. McLane was born on February 4, 1845. Along with his mother, Mrs. Honor McLane, he was enslaved by Mrs. Ann Gorsuch. Another seven people were enslaved by her and may have been McLane family members. In 1850, at the tender age of five, Private McLean was bought by Mr. John W. Gorsuch, who was likely a close relative of Mrs. Gorsuch.
In 1863, at the age of 18, Private McLane enlisted in the US Army. He was manumitted (freed from slavery forever) by Mr. Gorsuch for this purpose. His enslaver then applied for and received $300 in reparations from the Federal Government.
Like many of his neighbors, Private McLane served in the 4th US Colored Infantry, at the Battle of Petersburg, Dutch Gap Canal, and in the Carolinas Campaign. He was wounded, having been shot in the left side, and suffered from pain for the remainder of his life.
Following the war, he returned to Westminster. He married Ms. Zenia Sanders. They lived outside of the town, with his mother and two sons. Private McLane worked variously as a farm laborer and as a coachman for a private family.
Private Phillip McLane died on January 26, 1929.