DARIUS N. COUCH
After entering the war as a colonel of the 7th Massachusetts Volunteer Regiment, Darius Couch had a close association with General George Brinton McClellan that won him the rank of Brigadier General and soon after a divisional command. Having proved his solid fighting ability in McClellan's Peninsular Campaign, Couch rose to the rank of major general wielding a division in the Antietam Campaign and the II Corps at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville. After the latter battle, he asked to be relieved from the Army of the Potomac, only to be reduced to the command of Pennsylvania militia at Gettysburg and a division out West towards the end of the war. Taken from Battles and Leaders of the Civil War, his article describes the Federal command during the battle of Chancellorsville.
In the latter part of January, 1863, the Army of the Potomac under Burnside was still occupying its old camps on the left bank of the Rappannock, opposite Fredericksburg. After the failures under Burnside it was evident that the army must have a new commander. For some days there had been a rumor that Hooker had been fixed upon for the place, and on the 26th of January it was confirmed. This appointment, undoubtedly, gave very general satisfaction to the army, except perhaps to a few, mostly superior officers, who had grown up with it, and had had abundant opportunities to study Hooker's military character; these believed that Mr. Lincoln had committed a grave error in his selection. The army, from its former reverses, had become quite disheartened and almost sulky; but the quick, vigorous measures now adopted and carried out with a firm hand had a magical effect in toning up where there had been demoralization and inspiring confidence where there had been mistrust. Few changes were made in the heads of the general staff departments, but for his chief-of-staff Hooker applied for Brigadier‐