Harford History

Gen. James J. Archer

October 28, 2007

Gen. James J. Archer was the grandson of Dr. John Archer, the first graduate of medicine in America.

He was born in Stafford, southeast of Darlington on Deer Creek, in 1817. Unlike the many members of his family who gained prominence in the county as doctors or lawyers, Archer pursued a career in the military.

After studying law at Princeton University, Archer volunteered for duty in the Mexican-American War. When the Civil War broke out, he sided with the South.

Leading regiments from Georgia and Texas, he fought in the battles of Mechanicsville, Cedar Mountain, Antietam, Shepherdsville, Chancellorsville, Second Manassas and Harpers Ferry.

Wounded during the Battle of Gettysburg, he was captured and imprisoned at Johnson's Island, Ohio. Archer died in Richmond, Va., on Oct. 24, 1864.

[Source: A Guide to Civil War Sites in Maryland: Blue and Gray in a Border State by Susan Cooke Soderberg, and Our Harford Heritage by C. Milton Wright; research by Harford County Public Library]

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