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Couch, Darius S. (1822-1897).

American general. Principal wars: Second Seminole War (1835-1843); U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1848); Civil War (1861-1865). Principal battles and campaigns: Peninsula campaign, Bull Run II campaign (Manassas, Virginia), Antietam campaign, Fredericksburg (1862), Chancellorsville (near Fredericksburg) (1863); Nashville (1864).

A native of New York, Couch graduated from West Point (1846); he saw service in the Second Seminole War (November 1835-August 14, 1842) and the U.S.-Mexican War (1846-1848); gained notoriety with the Smithsonian Institution on an expedition to Mexico (1853); resigned and entered business and manufacturing (1855); colonel of the 7th Massachusetts Volunteers (June 15, 1861); was commissioned a brigadier general of volunteers (August 1861); commander of the 1st Division of IV Corps during the Peninsula campaign (April 4-July 1, 1862); promoted to major general of volunteers (July 4, 1862); his division was not engaged either in the second battle of Bull Run (August 29-30, 1862) or at Antietam (September 1862); given command of II Corps (October 1862), which he led at Fredericksburg (December 13, 1862) and Chancellorsville (May 1-6, 1863); disgusted with Hooker's performance in the Chancellorsville campaign, Couch asked to be relieved and assumed command of the Department of the Susquehannah; during the Gettysburg campaign he organized home guard forces for the defense of Pennsylvania; returned to active service in the West as commander of the 2d Division, XXIII Corps; fought at Nashville (December 15-16, 1864), and in North Carolina; resigned (May 26, 1865) and entered politics; defeated in the Massachusetts gubernatorial race; removed as collector for the port of Boston after four months because the Senate did not confirm his appointment (March 1867); president of Virginia mining and manufacturing companies (1867); Quartermaster General of Connecticut (1876-1878), and later the state's adjutant general (1883-1884).

Relatively able, but cautious and very methodical; Couch's own high opinion of his abilities was not sustained by his performance in the field. <BL>

Boatner, Mark M., III. Civil War Dictionary. New York, 1959.
Warner, Ezra J., Generals in Blue. Baton Rouge, 1964.


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Author:Dupuy, Arnold C.
Publication:The Harper Encyclopedia of Military Biography
Article Type:Reference Source
Date:Jan 1, 1992
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