The David Acheson Rock

Gettysburg Guide #154

Sergeant
Member of the Month
Joined
Dec 30, 2019
The inscription carved into the David Acheson Rock, located in the Weikert Woods a bit east of the John Weikert buildings, is getting more difficult to read. It was hard to show them in a photograph, but here is what I was able to capture. While the engraving is of interest to those who study the battlefield today, it has already served its purpose of allowing the retrieval of the remains of one who gave the last full measure of devotion. (As a side note, I want to thank whoever was thoughtful enough to place the flags here.)
David Acheson Rock 1.jpeg
David Acheson Rock 2.jpeg

David Acheson was a student at Washington College (now Washington and Jefferson College), but left school in 1862 and actively recruited what became Company C of the 140th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Not surprisingly, he was elected its captain, and led the company into its fight on the Stoney Hill on July 2, 1863. On that fateful day, the regiment would report 37 of its officers and men as "killed". Captain Acheson among them, reportedly shot through the chest with his sword in his hand. The stone etched with David Acheson's initials marks his temporary, shallow grave on the battlefield, which is only one of several thousand such graves. His body was retrieved by cousins who journeyed from Washington, Pennsylvania, and returned the body to his grieving parents for burial in the family plot at the local cemetery.

David's brother, Sandie, was also a member of Company C, but was not in the combat at Gettysburg. Instead, he was in a hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, suffering from typhoid. Unaware up to that point of his brother's fate, on July 11, Sandie read an account of the battle in a New York newspaper. It mentioned a Captain "Atkinson" of Company C, 140th Pennsylvania as killed. Sandie was unsure what to think. Was the name spelled wrong, or was the unit misstated? His worst fears were confirmed the next day when he received a letter from his Father informing him of David's death.
 

Scott F

Corporal
Joined
Sep 6, 2015
The inscription carved into the David Acheson Rock, located in the Weikert Woods a bit east of the John Weikert buildings, is getting more difficult to read. It was hard to show them in a photograph, but here is what I was able to capture. While the engraving is of interest to those who study the battlefield today, it has already served its purpose of allowing the retrieval of the remains of one who gave the last full measure of devotion. (As a side note, I want to thank whoever was thoughtful enough to place the flags here.)
View attachment 397656View attachment 397657
David Acheson was a student at Washington College (now Washington and Jefferson College), but left school in 1862 and actively recruited what became Company C of the 140th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Not surprisingly, he was elected its captain, and led the company into its fight on the Stoney Hill on July 2, 1863. On that fateful day, the regiment would report 37 of its officers and men as "killed". Captain Acheson among them, reportedly shot through the chest with his sword in his hand. The stone etched with David Acheson's initials marks his temporary, shallow grave on the battlefield, which is only one of several thousand such graves. His body was retrieved by cousins who journeyed from Washington, Pennsylvania, and returned the body to his grieving parents for burial in the family plot at the local cemetery.

David's brother, Sandie, was also a member of Company C, but was not in the combat at Gettysburg. Instead, he was in a hospital in Alexandria, Virginia, suffering from typhoid. Unaware up to that point of his brother's fate, on July 11, Sandie read an account of the battle in a New York newspaper. It mentioned a Captain "Atkinson" of Company C, 140th Pennsylvania as killed. Sandie was unsure what to think. Was the name spelled wrong, or was the unit misstated? His worst fears were confirmed the next day when he received a letter from his Father informing him of David's death.
Does anyone know about the “sharpshooters” caught inside the log house? From the accounts of the Medal of Honor recipients who captured them, there were 12 or 13 of them and one young sergeant among the number. Lt. Shallenberger from the 140th PA, held captive inside, claimed that two guards from Phillips Legion were left behind to guard them and never mentioned any others. After I reviewed the records of the 3rd Battalion Sharpshooters, they only had a few captured and of those reportedly captured on July 3rd. But the Confederate records are usually less than accurate to put it mildly and even if they were captured on the 2nd, they don’t account for half of that number. It is possible that they were all from Phillips Legion in which had about 12 enlisted men and two sergeants taken prisoner. Any thoughts?
 

Tom Elmore

2nd Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
In the book by Sara Gould Walters, she quotes from the Washington Reporter of July 15 that Acheson was struck a second time as he was being carried off the field. The boulder was initially carved with an unknown object and post-war (1881) Walters conjectures was improved by a stonecutter, perhaps the same one hired in Gettysburg to do the lettering on the first regimental monument.
 

Tom Elmore

2nd Lieutenant
Member of the Year
Joined
Jan 16, 2015
Does anyone know about the “sharpshooters” caught inside the log house? From the accounts of the Medal of Honor recipients who captured them, there were 12 or 13 of them and one young sergeant among the number. Lt. Shallenberger from the 140th PA, held captive inside, claimed that two guards from Phillips Legion were left behind to guard them and never mentioned any others. After I reviewed the records of the 3rd Battalion Sharpshooters, they only had a few captured and of those reportedly captured on July 3rd. But the Confederate records are usually less than accurate to put it mildly and even if they were captured on the 2nd, they don’t account for half of that number. It is possible that they were all from Phillips Legion in which had about 12 enlisted men and two sergeants taken prisoner. Any thoughts?
That's what I thought too: https://civilwartalk.com/threads/me...vania-reserves-on-july-2.142502/#post-1740810
 
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