(1828 - 1880)
Home State: North Carolina
Education: U of North Carolina, Class of 1848
Command Billet: Commanding Regiment
Branch of Service: Infantry
see his Battle Report
In 1860 he was a very wealthy planter running "Grimesland" plantation in Pitt County, NC, which his father had given him in 1848 after his college graduation. He was a delegate to the North Carolina Secession Convention in May 1861. He enrolled for war service on 8 May 1861 and was appointed Major of the Fourth North Carolina Infantry on 16 May as it was organized at Garysburg, NC under Colonel George B. Anderson.
He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on 1 May 1862 and thereafter commanded the regiment. He was promoted to Colonel on 19 June 1862.
On the Campaign
He says "... on the 5th [of September, 1862], when crossing the Potomac at White's Point, near Edwards' Ferry, I received a very severe hurt from the kick of a horse, which incapacitated me from active duty, not being able to either walk or ride, but had myself carried in an ambulance in anticipation and hopes of a speedy recovery." He had himself mounted on his horse and led his Regiment at South Mountain.
On 15 September he was transported to Shepherdstown, VA and onward to Winchester "on account of the serious nature of the injury to my leg, as amputation began seriously to be talked of. Here and at camp I remained until in November..."
The rest of the War
After General Anderson's mortal wounding, Grimes led the Brigade at Fredericksburg in December 1862, and he was a brigade commander again in May 1863 after General Ramseur was wounded. He was promoted to Brigadier General on 19 May 1864 and took Ramseur's Division at Cedar Creek (1864) and commanded it until Appomattox. He was made Major General in February 1865.
After the War
After the War he returned to "Grimesland" in Pitt County; in 1870 it was still one of the largest and most successful farms in the area.
General Grimes, involved in a feud with the three Paramore brothers, was shot from ambush on Aug. 14, 1880. William Parker was charged with the murder but was acquitted for lack of evidence. Parker left the community but returned in 1891 and is said to have drunkenly boasted that he was the assassin. The next morning Parker's body was found hanging from the river bridge at Washington.
References & notes
His service from his Compiled Service Records,1 online via fold3. Details from Extracts of Letters of Major-Gen'l Bryan Grimes... and Recollections (1883), online from UNC Chapel Hill Libraries, and a bio sketch by Jeff Weaver on the North Carolina in the American Civil War page [now offline]. His death story and aftermath quoted from The WPA Guide to North Carolina (1939). Personal details from family genealogists and the US Census of 1860-1880. His gravesite is on Findagrave; he also has a memorial in Trinity Churchyard Cemetery near Chocowinity, NC. His picture from a photograph in the North Carolina Photographic Archives at the Wilson Library, UNC/Chapel Hill.
He married Elizabeth Hilliard Davis (1833-1857) in April 1851 and they had 3 children. He married again, Charlotte Emily Bryan (1840-1920) in September 1863 and they had at least 10 and as many as 12 children by his death in 1880.
His half-brother John G.B. Grimes was Assistant Quartermaster of the regiment.
More on the Web
See more about the Grimes' plantation and its history in the nomination form to the National Register of Historic Places [PDF] (1970).
11/02/1828; Pitt County, NC
08/14/1880; Pitt County, NC; burial in Grimesland Cemetery, Grimesland, NC