** Please check out my tribute page to two of my Civil War relatives who never made it home **

Monday, May 20, 2013

May 20, 2013

Without such a strong artillery presence, the battle of Gettysburg would have undoubtedly turned out differently, though in what ways no one can say for certain. Many Union batteries were involved in the repulse of the Pickett-Pettigrew-Trimble Charge on the afternoon of July 03, 1863 

The men  of Clark’s 2ND New Jersey Battery were lucky . . . they remained as back-up and were able to watch others doing the firing without having to do it themselves. It was a welcome respite. After all, the battery had been heroically engaged the previous day, belching shells toward charging Confederates in the vicinity of farmer Sherfy’s peach orchard.

Though it’s impossible to say if it was present at the battle, this particular 12-pound Parrott Rifle was produced in 1863 by West Point Foundry. It marks Clark’s battery’s position on July 3rd. Though the current road is named Hancock Avenue, in 1863 the area was simply known as Cemetery Ridge.

It’s interesting to note the white shapes at top left. These are structures belonging to the George Weikert farm, located along present-day United States Avenue. This is just one of many farms whose residents may have witnessed the actions of July 3rd. Even if these frightened folks didn’t venture outside their homes or had taken shelter elsewhere, they certainly heard the cannonade.


Co. K, 2nd Mississippi Infantry

Born October 23, 1845 --- Died July 01, 1863 at age 17

Pvt. Akers lived in Tishomingo, Mississippi in 1860 and was posthumously included on the Confederate Roll of Honor. It is unlikely that his parents ever saw his body after he was killed at Gettysburg, as he was buried at the Gettysburg National Cemetery accidentally. If you’re traveling to Gettysburg and want to visit Pvt. Akers’ gravesite, find the graves marked “Pennsylvania” and look for a “John Aker.” This is the soldier in question.

(c) 2013 Skies of Blue and Gray

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