Battle of Darbytown Road


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Civil War Harper's Weekly, October 29, 1864

This site features our collection of Harper's Weekly newspapers. This collection is an invaluable archive for those interested in developing a more complete understanding of the war. Reading news on pages printed within days of the battles give a new perspective on the war.

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Cavalry Officers

Cavalry Officers

Soldiers Support Lincoln

Sherman's Advance

Sherman's Advance on Atlanta, Georgia


Soldiers Voting

Battle of Darbytown

Battle of Darbytown Road

Albert Durer

Albert Durer

Fleet Mobile Bay

Fleet in Mobile Bay

Women's Clothes

Women's Clothes in the 1800's


McClellan Cartoon










OCTOBER, 29, 1864.]





ROGER BROOK TANEY, the late Chief-Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, was born in Calvert County, Maryland, March 17, 1777. His ancestors immigrated into that State two centuries ago. They were English, but of the Roman Catholic faith.

Educated at Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania, he was admitted in 1799 to the bar. He practiced law for a short time in his native county, from which, in 1800, he was elected a delegate to the General Assembly. He took up his residence at Frederick in 1801, and was elected State Senator in 1816. At the age of forty-five Mr. TANEY removed to Baltimore, where he resided during the remainder of his life. He was appointed Attorney-General of Maryland, holding that office for four years, at the expiration of which term lie was appointed by President JACKSON Attorney - General of the United States.

This, it will be remembered, was the period when there was great political strife on the subject of a United States Bank. Two years after his appointment, in 1833, JACKSON had determined upon a singular measure to carry out his policy. Mr. DUANE was then Secretary of the Treasury, and, thoroughly in favor of the Bank, was therefore opposed to the policy of the President. Without the knowledge of his Cabinet, JACKSON instructed DUANE to remove the public deposits from the United States Bank. The Secretary declined to follow this instruction, and was, in accordance with JACKSON'S usual manner, summarily deposed. TANEY was then appointed Secretary of the Treasury, and immediately had the deposits removed. TANEY had been appointed by the President, but as the appointment was certain to be rejected by the Senate, it was not submitted to that body until the latest moment.

Mr. TANEY at this crisis resigned, but within a year was appointed by the President Associate-Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, in place of DUVALL, resigned. This appointment also was rejected by the Senate, much to JACKSON'S chagrin. But it was not long before Chief-Justice MARSHALL was so good as to die, and leave vacant a still higher office in the President's gift. The Senate had been somewhat remodeled in the interval, and when the appointment of TANEY to fill the office vacated was submitted to that body it was duly confirmed. Chief-Justice TANEY took his seat on the Supreme Bench in 1837, at the age of sixty.

Judge TANEY has held this high and honorable position for twenty-seven years. During this time he has administered the official oath at the inauguration of seven Presidents.—His decisions have been always respected, and, with the exception of the famous Dred Scott decision, have been subject to no animadversion.

Chief-Justice TANEY died at Washington October 12, 1864, at the age of eighty-seven. He is buried at Frederick, his former residence.


WE give on this page, and on pages 692 and 696, sketches relating to the Army of the James. THE BATTLE OF DARBYTOWN, illustrated on this page, occurred on Friday, October 7. BUTLER'S extreme right was held by KAUTZ'S cavalry alone, though not far in the advance of TERRY'S division. In the opening between the woods on the right and those on the left is disclosed the Darbytown Road, on which KAUTZ'S cavalry was driven in. Through the woods on the right the rebels, led by HOKE, GARY, and FIELD, advanced to flank TERRY'S division. From the woods on the left their artillery maintained a heavy cannonade. In the fore-ground appears a section of the Federal intrenchment seized from the rebels in previous engagements. The enemy made two attacks; in both of which he was repulsed with great loss, and on retiring to the Darbytown Road he was attacked in flank, but succeeded, under cover of his guns, in drawing off his men.

An illustration on page 692 represents the PENNSYLVANIA SOLDIERS VOTING at the Head-quarters of the Army of the James. Our soldiers do not by fighting our battles cease to be citizens, but are even more interested than others in the maintenance of the civil institutions for which they are ready to give up their lives. There can be no doubt as to the loyalty and sincerity of these men.

On the same page we have another scene at Head-quarters—viz., at the Guard-House, where deserters and rebel prisoners are gathered together, in various attitudes and costumes, about their wood fire. The two elderly men—one with the silk hat, and the other at his side—are the two clerks in the Treasury Department at Richmond who were out on picket duty, and walked accidentally into our lines. They will be among the prisoners that General BUTLER proposes to place in Dutch Gap, in retaliation for the ill-treatment of our colored soldiers who have been placed in labor at Fort Gilmer.

The sketch on page 696 represents the scenes attending a NIGHT AFTER A BATTLE. The night is usually spent in bringing in the dead and wounded. Sometimes this is not possible, and the sufferings of the wounded are in such cases pitiable, ending not unfrequently in death.


ON our first page we give a sketch in which are grouped together three of our most distinguished cavalry officers, namely, KAUTZ, MERRITT, and WILSON.

AUGUST V. KAUTZ was born in Germany. He was appointed to the Military Academy from Ohio in 1848, and four years afterward graduated with the rank of Brevet Second Lieutenant of Infantry. He has performed distinguished services in many a raid during this war. Ill-luck has sometimes attended him—as in the (Next Page)



Roger Taney
Battle Darbytown road




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