Archibald N. Euwer was born November 22, 1843. After hearing a rousing call for volunteers at a town meeting, Euwer enlisted in the Pennsylvania 155th Infantry Regiment, Company C, in 1862. Not long after his regiment marched off to war, Pvt. Euwer wrote home to his brother. His letter conveyed a hint of adventure and excitement, "I have been very much pleased with my trip," and "I have liked it very well so far." Less than two weeks later, the 155th fought at the Battle of Antietam. The carnage and death shocked Euwer, who must have quickly realized his service would be much more than just an adventure.
The following summer, the 155th, now battle-weary and tired, arrived at Gettysburg. Union and Confederate troops had already been fighting for one terrible day. On July 2, 1863, Euwer, who was now a Color-Corporal, ascended a rocky hill at Gettysburg now known as Little Round Top. The view from the top came with a strategic advantage and fighting to control the hill was fierce. Men from the 155th struggled to help haul cannons to the summit and then stood ready for battle, as firm as the boulders around them. Wave after wave of Confederate soldiers tried to gain the hill's summit, to no avail. The Pennsylvanians then gathered rocks on the hill and constructed stone walls for defense from Confederate marksmen, tucked among the boulders in an area known as the Devil's Den. Bombardment and fighting flared throughout the vicinity and into the early evening. As darkness fell, the sounds of battle subsided, and the cries of wounded soldiers filled the air. Euwer bedded down for the night amidst the rocks and boulders.
The following morning brought continued fighting and a culminating assault by Confederates at Cemetery Ridge known as Pickett's Charge. The attack resulted in heavy Confederate losses. Meanwhile, Euwer and others at Little Round Top saw the distant fighting and along with 10,000 others cheered the repulse of Pickett's Charge. Their joy was short-lived as they surveyed the scene around them. The battlefield was awash with the dead and dying. The 155th lost six men killed at Gettysburg, with 13 wounded. Euwer survived, and according to family legend, ruined his teeth at Gettysburg by constantly using them to tear open packets of powder to load his musket.
Archibald N. Euwer returns to Gettysburg:
Shortly after the war ended, Euwer moved to Iowa where he married and started a family. Years later, at a meeting of the Blue and Gray, he returned to Gettysburg. He was photographed on the rock where he said he'd fought so many years before. Archibald N. Euwer died in 1924 at age 81.
Nancy Jane Rowan Euwer
1851–1936 (m. 1869)
Sponsored by Ancestry