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Sgt Joseph R. Acker

Sgt Joseph R. Acker

Pennsylvania, USA
Death 18 May 1864 (aged 28–29)
Chesterfield County, Virginia, USA
Burial Malvern, Chester County, Pennsylvania, USA
Plot Old 84
Memorial ID 80537876 · View Source
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Residence: Warren Co,PA

Elistment Age-26. Farmer

Enlisted: Sep 11,1861 at West Chester Co,PA. Corp

Mustered into Co "C" 97th PA Infantry

Killed at Bermuda Hundred,VA.

Promotions: Sgt,Apr 30,1862

The death of Sgt Acker was occasioned by one of those irregularities that came to be regarded as a bane to the service-the unauthorized orders of a junior staff officer to non-commissioned officers or soldiers on duty at the front. One of these, on a tour of observation along the line, ambitious of displaying authority, ordered Sgt Acker, with a few men, to advance into a piece of wood upon the left, to ascertain if there were any of the enemy concealed in it.

He was informed that it was full of them, but insisted upon the advance being made. There being no commissioned officer in sight to whom Sgt could appeal, and not at liberty to leave the position ascertain the correctness of the order, Sgt Acker felt it his duty to obey the Lieutenant. He cautiously advanced, with three or four men, having to crawl upon the ground through the grass. They had barely reached the edge of the timber when the Sgt was shot through the heart by a rebel sharpshooter only a few paces in advances. The men returned dragging the lifeless body with them.

Upon seeing the fatel result of his order, the Lieutenant quickly retired to avoid identification. Many efforts were made to ascertain his name, but without success, he evidently took care to keep out of sight of the men who were able to identify him, and as no other officer saw him at the front, he was not discovered and held responsible for his action. Perhaps under no other circumstances would a like order have been obeyed by any non-commissioned officer of the Regiment, without the sanction of one of their officers or an officer known to them, but, being under fire in action, the excitement of the occasion induced the conviction that there was no choice but to obey the order, and Sgt Acker, faithful to every known duty, was brave enough to obey rather than to shrink from any danger.

From the "History of the Ninety-Seventh Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry" By Isaiah Price

Family Members

Gravesite Details PA Civil War Dard Files 1861-1866. Cemetery Records. Personal Research





  • Created by: Ted Myers
  • Added: 16 Nov 2011
  • Find A Grave Memorial 80537876
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sgt Joseph R. Acker (1835–18 May 1864), Find A Grave Memorial no. 80537876, citing Great Valley Presbyterian Church Cemetery, Malvern, Chester County, Pennsylvania, USA ; Maintained by Ted Myers (contributor 46904394) .