Darius N. Couch
American general
Darius N. Couch
Darius Nash Couch was an American soldier, businessman, and naturalist. He served as a career U.S. Army officer during the Mexican-American War, the Second Seminole War, and as a general officer in the Union Army during the American Civil War. During the Civil War, Couch fought notably in the Peninsula and Fredericksburg campaigns of 1862, and the Chancellorsville and Gettysburg campaigns of 1863.
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Memorial Day a day for Greater Taunton to teach, commemorate those who served - Taunton Daily Gazette
Google News - over 5 years
Darius Couch, a Taunton resident who fought during the Civil War, along with Civil War veteran and Medal of Honor recipient Cpl. Lowell M. Maxham, Crowley talked about the bravery of the fallen servicemen and women honored on Memorial Day
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Google News article
Civil War historians seek recognition for NY, which lost most troops - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Google News - almost 6 years
Darius Couch, who was born on a farm in Southeast, was offered command of the Army of the Potomac by Lincoln about six weeks before the Battle of Gettysburg but declined. Rear Adm. John Lorimer Worden, who commanded the ironclad Monitor in its famous
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Google News article
Civil War Echoes – June 2011 - witf.org
Google News - almost 6 years
Darius Couch in response to an expected Confederate attack on Harrisburg. Hanover became a target for Confederates because of the important transportation and communication crossroad of Hanover Junction Train Station. The cavalry Battle of Hanover led
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Google News article
Louisiana College students make trip to look into the Civil War - The Republic
Google News - almost 6 years
Darius Couch. She said Couch was senior corps commander in battles at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. People sometimes forget that these generals had responsibilities and families, she said. "After the Mexican-American War, Couch was actually
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Google News article
Word for Word/The Molly Maguires; American Gothic: 'Terrorists' And Tribunals in the Civil War Era
NYTimes - about 15 years
THE nation was at war, and the government feared that a network of immigrant terrorists was planning havoc on the home front. It suspended civil justice and rounded up people for questioning. A handful were tried by a military commission. In this case, though, the immigrants were Irish-Catholic coal miners in eastern Pennsylvania, and the network
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NYTimes article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Darius N. Couch
  • 1897
    Age 74
    Died on February 12, 1897.
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  • 1890
    Age 67
    He also joined the Connecticut Society of the Sons of the American Revolution in 1890.
    More Details Hide Details He died in Norwalk, Connecticut. He was buried in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Taunton.
  • 1888
    Age 65
    In 1888 he joined the Aztec Club of 1847 by right of his service in the Mexican War.
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  • 1871
    Age 48
    Couch moved to Connecticut in 1871, where he served as the Quartermaster General, and then Adjutant General, for the state militia until 1884.
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  • 1865
    Age 42
    Couch returned to civilian life in Taunton after the war, where he ran unsuccessfully as a Democratic candidate for Governor of Massachusetts in 1865.
    More Details Hide Details He later briefly served as president of a mining company in West Virginia.
    Couch finished his military service after the Carolinas Campaign in 1865.
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  • 1864
    Age 41
    Confederates again invaded Couch's Department of the Susquehanna in August 1864, as Brig.
    More Details Hide Details Gen. John McCausland burned the town of Chambersburg. In December, Couch returned to the front lines with an assignment to the Western Theater, where he commanded a division in the XXIII Corps of the Army of the Ohio in the Franklin-Nashville Campaign and for the remainder of the war.
  • 1863
    Age 40
    Couch requested reassignment after quarreling with Hooker. He commanded the newly created Department of the Susquehanna during the Gettysburg Campaign in 1863.
    More Details Hide Details Fort Couch in Lemoyne, Pennsylvania, was constructed under his direction and was named in his honor. Assigned to protect Harrisburg from a threatened attack by Confederates under Lt. Gen. Richard S. Ewell, Couch directed militia from his department to skirmish with enemy cavalry elements at Sporting Hill, one of the war's northernmost engagements. Couch's militia then joined pursuing Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia into Maryland after the Battle of Gettysburg.
    Following the Union defeat at Fredericksburg and the inglorious Mud March in January 1863, the commander of the Army of the Potomac - Couch's immediate superior - was again replaced.
    More Details Hide Details Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside was relieved and Maj. Gen. Joseph Hooker named to his place. Hooker reorganized the army and drew up plans for a new campaign against the Army of Northern Virginia. He wished to avoid attacking the Confederate defenses at Fredericksburg and flank them out of position, thereby fighting on more open ground. After the reorganization Couch continued to lead the II Corps, with his divisions commanded by Hancock and French (both now major generals) and Brig. Gen. John Gibbon at the head of Howard's former division, a total of about 17,000 soldiers. During the ensuing Chancellorsville Campaign Couch was the senior corps commander, making him Hooker's second-in-command. In late April, Hooker began moving his corps across the Rappahannock and Rapidan Rivers, ordering two of Couch's divisions to entrench and defend the Banks's Ford crossing of the Rappahannock and detach Gibbon's 5,000 men to remain at the Union camp back at Falmouth on April 29. The following day Couch had cleared the ford and was marching toward Chancellorsville. In the afternoon of May 1 Hooker - normally quite aggressive - cautiously slowed his marching army, and soon he stopped their movement altogether, despite some success against the Confederates and the loud protests of his corps commanders. Couch sent Hancock's division to bolster the Union men already engaged and informed Hooker they could handle the enemy in front of them.
  • 1862
    Age 39
    On November 14, 1862, Couch was assigned command of the II Corps, and he led it during the Battle of Fredericksburg as part of Maj. Gen. Edwin V. Sumner's "Right Grand Division".
    More Details Hide Details In this fight Couch's corps contained three divisions, led by Brig. Gens. Winfield S. Hancock, Oliver O. Howard, and William H. French. Early on December 12 infantry from his corps attempted to support the Union engineers' efforts to lay pontoon bridges across the Rappahannock River and into the town. When Confederate fire repeatedly prevented this, and a heavy artillery bombardment failed as well, the decision was made to send small groups of soldiers in pontoon boats across to dislodge the defenders. This amphibious assault was executed by one of Couch's brigades under Col. Norman J. Hall (3rd Brigade, 2nd Division - 19th & 20th Massachusetts, 7th Michigan, 42nd & 59th New York, & 127th Pennsylvania) which finally succeeded in driving out the Confederates. As the Union soldiers entered a smoldering Fredericksburg they began to sack the city, forcing Couch to order his provost guard to the bridges and collect the loot. The next day his corps was ordered to attack the Confederate position at the base of Marye's Heights above Fredericksburg. To better watch his men's progress Couch entered the town's courthouse and climbed its cupola, where he could see French's division advancing. As they approached the Confederate defenses, Couch could see his men taking very heavy fire and easily repulsed, described "as if the division had simply vanished." Hancock's division followed that of French, meeting the same fate with high casualties as well.
    Couch continued to lead his division during the 1862 Seven Days Battles that followed, fighting in the Battle of Oak Grove on June 25 and the Battle of Malvern Hill on July 1.
    More Details Hide Details Later in July Couch's health began to fail, prompting him to offer his resignation. The army commander, Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, refused to send it to the U.S. War Department, and instead Couch was promoted to major general, to date from July 4. Couch was involved in the Maryland Campaign that fall, although absent from the Battle of Antietam on September 17.
    Couch led his division during the Battle of Seven Pines on May 31 and June 1, 1862.
    More Details Hide Details In this engagement his corps commander, Brig. Gen. Erasmus D. Keyes, ordered Couch's division and that of Brig. Gen. Silas Casey forward of the Union defensive line, Couch's men right behind those of Casey. This placed the IV Corps in an isolated position, vulnerable to attack on three sides; however poorly coordinated Confederate movements allowed Couch and Casey to partially prepare entrenchments for impending the assault. As the fighting continued throughout May 31 both Couch and Casey were slowly driven back, with their right flank units in the most peril. At this time Couch counterattacked with his old 7th Massachusetts Infantry and the 62nd New York Infantry in an attempt to bolster that side, however he did not succeed and was forced back, as was the rest of the Union IV Corps by nightfall.
  • 1861
    Age 38
    From July 1861 to March 1862 he helped train and then maintain the defenses of Washington, D.C..
    More Details Hide Details He participated in the Peninsula Campaign, fighting in the Siege of Yorktown on April 5 - May 4 and the Battle of Williamsburg the following day.
    At the outbreak of the Civil War, Couch was appointed commander of the 7th Massachusetts Infantry on June 15, 1861, with the rank of colonel in the Union Army.
    More Details Hide Details That August he was promoted to brigadier general with an effective date back to May 17. He was given brigade command in the Military Division then Army of the Potomac that fall, and Couch was given divisional command in the VI Corps in the following spring.
    Couch was still working in Taunton when the American Civil War began in 1861.
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  • 1855
    Age 32
    From 1855 to 1857 he was a merchant in New York City.
    More Details Hide Details He then moved to Taunton, Massachusetts, and worked as a copper fabricator in the company owned by his wife's family.
    On April 30, 1855, Couch resigned his commission in the U.S. Army.
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  • 1854
    Age 31
    Also in 1854 he was stationed at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, and would remain there into the following year.
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    Upon his return to the United States in 1854, Couch was ordered to Washington, D.C., on detached service.
    More Details Hide Details Later that year he resumed garrison duty in Fort Independence at Castle Island along Boston Harbor, Massachusetts.
  • 1853
    Age 30
    Couch then took a one-year leave of absence from the army from 1853 to 1854 to conduct a scientific mission for the Smithsonian Institution in northern Mexico.
    More Details Hide Details There, he discovered the species that were known as Couch's kingbird and Couch's spadefoot toad.
  • 1851
    Age 28
    Later in 1851 he returned to Fort Columbus, and then was ordered to Fort Johnston in Southport, North Carolina, staying there into 1852, and next in garrison at Fort Mifflin in Philadelphia until 1853.
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    Returning to garrison duty, later that year Couch was sent to Fort Columbus in New York Harbor, and in 1851 Couch was involved in recruiting at Jefferson Barracks located on the Mississippi River at Lemay, Missouri.
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  • 1849
    Age 26
    Couch next participated in the Seminole Wars during 1849 and into 1850.
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  • 1848
    Age 25
    After the war ended in 1848 Couch began serving in garrison duty at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia.
    More Details Hide Details The following year he was stationed at Fort Pickens, located near Pensacola, Florida, and then in Key West.
  • 1847
    Age 24
    Couch then saw action with the U.S. Army during the Mexican-American War, most notably in the Battle of Buena Vista on February 22 - 23, 1847.
    More Details Hide Details For his actions on the second day of this fight, he was brevetted a first lieutenant for "gallant and meritorious conduct."
  • 1846
    Age 23
    On July 1, 1846, Couch was commissioned a brevet second lieutenant and was assigned to the 4th U.S. Artillery.
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  • 1842
    Age 19
    In 1842 he entered the United States Military Academy at West Point, graduating four years later 13th out of 59 cadets.
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  • 1822
    Couch was born in 1822 on a farm in the village of Southeast in Putnam County, New York, and was educated at the local schools there.
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Original Authors of this text are noted here.
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