Date of Award


Degree Name



College of Liberal Arts

Type of Degree


Document Type


First Advisor

Robert Sawrey

Second Advisor

David Mills

Third Advisor

Jack Dickinson


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.


Roberts, Richard P.

United States. Army. Pennsylvania Volunteers Regiment, 140th.

United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865.

United States - History - Civil War, 1861-1865 - Regimental histories - Army of the Potomac.