Document Details

Document Type:   Thesis
Title:   In Defense of Colonel Richard P. Roberts, Commanding Officer of the Pennsylvania 140th Regiment
Author:   Gregory Jason Bell
College:   Liberal Arts
Degree Program:   History, M.A.
Degree:   Master of Arts
Committee Director:   Dr. Robert Sawrey
Document Availability:   Document available for World-Wide access.
Date of Defense:   04/16/2004

Richard P. Roberts was the colonel of the Pennsylvania 140th regiment from its organization in September 1862 until his death at Gettysburg in July 1863. During this time period, Captain David Acheson of Company C fostered a “growing dislike” for the colonel that led him to portray the colonel negatively in his writings. Unfortunately for the colonel’s reputation, Acheson’s letters have been widely published, leading at least one historian to accept Acheson’s poor opinion of the colonel as fact. However, other primary sources exist which collectively demonstrate a positive regimental opinion of the colonel and further suggest that Acheson’s criticisms of the colonel were largely unwarranted and were a product of his own biases instead of an honest appraisal of the colonel’s performance. In fact, Colonel Roberts performed his duties admirably and is worthy of a commendation that, until now, the Acheson letters have largely denied him. 

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