AUG

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Copying this post over from the 4th North Carolina Infantry thread.

Colonel Bryan Grimes.jpg

Bryan Grimes. When this photograph was taken he was a brigadier general.

Bryan Grimes, Jr. was born November 2, 1828, on the ancestral family plantation, "Grimesland Plantation," in Pitt County, North Carolina. His father was a prosperous planter and his mother, Nancy Grist, was the daughter of a prominent general from Georgia. Bryan Grimes graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1848. In 1849, his father gave him the Grimesland estate, along with its 100 slaves. On April 9, 1851, he married Elizabeth Hilliard Davis; they had four children, however Elizabeth would die only six years later. Grief-stricken over his wife's death, Grimes later traveled to Europe.

Upon his return to the United States, Grimes was elected as a delegate to North Carolina's secession convention. He resigned from the commission after the passage of the Ordinance of Secession and joined the Confederate Army as major of the newly formed 4th North Carolina Infantry on May 16, 1861. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel on May 1, 1862, and commanded the Fourth at Seven Pines, in which he led the regiment capably and from the front, rallying the men in their charge on Casey's Redoubt.

With the promotion of Col. G. B. Anderson, Grimes was promoted to colonel of the regiment on June 19. He participated in the Seven Days battles, however he missed the Maryland Campaign due to a severe leg injury. After Anderson's mortal wounding at Antietam, Brig. Gen. Stephen Dodson Ramseur of the 49th North Carolina was given command of the brigade; however, Col. Grimes was acting brigade commander during the Fredericksburg Campaign while Ramseur still heeled from wounds suffered at Malvern Hill.

In a desperate, voluntary charge made by Ramseur's Brigade at Chancellorsville on May 3, 1863, Grimes led the 4th North Carolina through a hail of of lead. In his reminiscences he recalls, "In this charge my sword was severed by a ball, my clothes perforated in many places, and a ball embedded in my sword belt and the scabbard, and I received a very severe contusion on the foot; and upon reaching the earthwork from which we had first started, I had only sufficient strength to get over, and lost consciousness from exhaustion and pain."

Col. Grimes continued to command the Fourth in the Gettysburg Campaign. The brigade was only engaged on July 1 at Gettysburg, in the attacks on Oak Ridge. Grimes luckily made it through unscathed, and on September 15, 1863, he married his second wife, Charlotte Emily Bryan. Together they would have ten children.

Ramseur's Tar Heels were in the thick of the action yet again at Spotsylvania C.H., driving the Federal troops back out of the Bloody Angle and holding the position throughout the day. Gen. Ramseur was wounded in their initial charge to recapture the works, so Col. Grimes assumed temporary command of the brigade. Grimes quickly ordered a second charge which successfully recaptured that portion of the line for the time being. Later, according to Grimes, "Gen. Lee rode down in person to thank the Brigade for its gallantry, saying, 'we deserved the thanks of the country, we had saved his army.'"

Col. Grimes was promoted to brigadier general on May 19, 1864, and was given command of another brigade of North Carolinians - Julius Daniel's after he was mortally wounded at Spotsylvania. So Grimes left his old 4th North Carolina, though he still served in Robert E. Rodes' Division. Grimes commanded his new brigade throughout the 1864 Valley Campaign. After Rodes was mortally wounded at Third Winchester, Ramseur was then given command of his division; and after Ramseur was killed at Cedar Creek, Grimes later assumed command of the division on December 9, 1864, leading it for the remainder of the war. He was promoted to major general on February 15, 1865, the last man appointed to that rank in the Army of Northern Virginia. After Petersburg and the march to Appomattox, Grimes surrendered with the rest of Lee's army. After the surrender he rode over to what was left of his old Fourth and shook hands with every man. One old veteran grasped his hand and replied, "Goodbye, General; God bless you; we will go home; make three more crops and then try them again."

Grimes returned home to North Carolina and settled briefly in Releigh, but he later moved back to Grimesland in January 1867 where he took up planting again, becoming one of the most successful planters in the state. He contributed a portion of his earning to the University of North Carolina and was appointed a trustee in 1877.

On August 14, 1880, while riding home in a buggy after attending the the Beaufort County political convention, Grimes was shot and killed in Pitt County, North Carolina. Alleged assassin William Parker was arrested but later acquitted at his trial. The reason for his assassination is not clear; it is believed to have been either to prevent Grimes from testifying in court about a criminal matter or because Grimes had taken part in an attempt to deport immigrants. Seven years later, Parker returned to the area drunk and boasted of his killing Grimes but winning acquittal. He was arrested, and that night a mob entered the jail house, grabbed Parker and lynched him. Nobody was ever tried for the act. Grimes was buried in the family cemetery on his plantation, Grimesland, about five miles northwest of Chocowinity, North Carolina. A monument to Grimes stands in Trinity Churchyard Cemetery located in the village of Chocowinity.
 

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AUG

Brigadier General
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#2

AUG

Brigadier General
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#4
Osborne, Grimes, Shaffner.jpg

L-R: Edwin A. Osborne, Bryan Grimes, and Surgeon J.F. Shaffner. Sixth-plate ambrotype, circa early 1862.

Osborne was captain of Company H, 4th North Carolina Infantry, later being promoted to major, lieutenant colonel, and eventually colonel, in command of the regiment until war's end.

From Military Images Magazine, vol. 13, no. 3 (November - December 1991).
 



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