Bryan Grimes

Source: Thomas Sparrow Collection, East Carolina Manuscript Collection #1

General Bryan Grimes (1863) photographic print

General Bryan Grimes (1863) photographic print

Staff Person: Jonathan Dembo

Description:

Bryan Grimes (2 Nov. 1828-14 Aug. 1880), the noted Eastern North Carolina planter and civil war hero, appears in the portrait above. The photograph shows Grimes in his brigadier general’s uniform, thus dating the image to 1863. The print shown, however, must be a reproduction. The firm that made the print — Wharton & Tyree, Raleigh, N.C. — did business under that name only during 1909-1910.

Grimes was a member of one of the oldest and wealthiest families in North Carolina. His estate, “Grimesland,” in Pitt County near Washington, N.C., was one of the largest in the state and Grimes was a leading agriculturalist. Early in 1861, however, Grimes served in North Carolina’s secession convention and then accepted a commission as major of the newly formed 4th North Carolina State Troops when the state seceded from the Union.

During the civil war, Grimes saw frequent combat. Demonstrating great courage and fortitude, and often placing himself in great personal danger, Grimes won rapid promotion and suffered many wounds. From the First Battle of Bull Run in Virginia in July 1861 to the final surrender at Appomattox Court House, in April 1865, his military reputation grew steadily. Named a full colonel in June 1862, Grimes took command of the 4th North Carolina Regiment and led it during the Peninsula, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg campaigns. After Chancellorsville, General Robert E. Lee praised Grimes and the other officers in the 4th N.C. as “among the best of their respective grades in the army.” By 1864, Grimes was a brigadier general in command of a brigade of North Carolinian troops. Grimes assumed command of Maj. Gen. Stephen D. Ramseur’s division after Ramseur died in battle and commanded it from December 1864 until the end of the war.

On February 15, 1865, General Lee named Grimes a major general. In April 1865, Grimes led the final attack of Lee’s Army. Grimes’s attack successfully pushed the federals away from the Lynchburg Road and opened a possible escape route for Lee’s Army. Lee, however, opted to surrender at Appomattox rather than accept further useless bloodshed.

Grimes returned to Grimesland and resumed life as a prosperous farmer after the war. In 1880, however, he was murdered to prevent his testimony at a criminal trail. Although acquitted of Grimes’s murder, the assassin was lynched by an angry mob seven years later when he bragged that he had killed Grimes.

Bryan Grimes (1863) photographic print, Thomas Sparrow Collection (#1.1.e/P-1/1) Click on the image to see an enlarged version.

10 thoughts on “Bryan Grimes

  1. Dear “Misc.”:

    Thank you for your very kind comment. I appreciate your encouragement and hope to continue to produce interesting posts in the future. Please do return to the site from time to time to see our latest entries. Best wishes,

    Sincerely,

    Prof. Jonathan Dembo
    Special Collections Curator
    Manuscripts and Rare Books Dept.
    J. Y. Joyner Library
    East Carolina University
    Greenville, NC 2834

  2. Dear JoleneSchubert: Thank you for your very kind comment and encouragement. I enjoy working on this blog and sharing our many collections with a wide audience. It is good to know that people read our postings and find some pleasure in doing so. Best wishes,

    Sincerely,

    Prof. Jonathan Dembo
    Special Collections Curator
    Manuscripts and Rare Books Dept.
    J. Y. Joyner Library
    East Carolina University
    Greenville, NC 2834

  3. Dear Read More Consultant:

    Thank you for your comment on my Staff Pick post on Bryan Grimes. I’m glad that you found it “really wonderful article”. My principal source of information was the Thomas Sparrow Collection (#1.1.e/P-1/1) and my own knowledge of Civil War history and uniforms. Please do return to this site each week to see the latest items selected from our collection by the staff. Best wishes,

    Prof. Jonathan Dembo, Ph.D.
    Special Collections Curator
    Manuscripts & Rare Books Department
    J. Y. Joyner Library
    East Carolina University
    Greenville, NC 27858

    demboj@ecu.edu

  4. Dear Stacy Campos:

    Thank you for viewing our blogs. We try very hard to select interesting items from our collections that tell revealing stories about American history. We appreciate and read all the feedback we can get and try to use it to improve our future posts. Most of the information in the blogs comes from the finding aids to the collections which, in turn, are mostly based on information from the collections. In rare cases, such as in identifying the company that reproduced the Brian Grimes photograph, we use city directories, telephone directories, or other publicly available sources. Please keep reading our posts. Best wishes,

    Sincerely,

    Prof. Jonathan Dembo
    Special Collections Curator
    Manuscripts and Rare Books Dept.
    J. Y. Joyner Library
    East Carolina University
    Greenville, NC 2834

  5. Dear Beg Bug Finder:

    Thank you for your comment on my Staff Pick post on Bryan Grimes. I’m glad that you found it “a good topic”. My source of information was mainly Thomas Sparrow Collection (#1.1.e/P-1/1) and my own knowledge of Civil War history and uniforms. Please do return to this site each week to see the latest items selected from our collection by the staff. Best wishes,

    Prof. Jonathan Dembo, Ph.D.
    Special Collections Curator
    Manuscripts & Rare Books Department
    J. Y. Joyner Library
    East Carolina University
    Greenville, NC 27858

    demboj@ecu.edu

  6. Dear Doreen Barringer:

    Thank you for reading our blog and for your very kind comments about my Bryan Grimes post. I hope that I was able to provide you with some useful and entertaining information. Please do return to see our most recent posts. I think you’ll be equally happy with them. Best wishes,

    Sincerely,

    Prof. Jonathan Dembo
    Special Collections Curator
    Manuscripts and Rare Books Dept.
    J. Y. Joyner Library
    East Carolina University
    Greenville, NC 2834

  7. Dear Home Decor:

    Thank you for your very kind comments regarding my Staff Pick post on Bryan Grimes. I am thrilled to know that people such as yourself learn something interesting and educational as a result of my work. I hope to keep making these contributions from time to time and I certainly hope that you continue to visit the site and read the posts. Best wishes, Jonathan Dembo

  8. Dear Baby Coupons Printable:

    Thank you for your very kind comments regarding my Staff Pick post on Bryan Grimes. I hope to keep making these contributions from time to time and I certainly hope that you continue to visit the site and read the posts. We are not particularly concerned with issues of plagiarism or copyright violation. Violations of copyright and plagiarism are the responsibility of the user not the repository. We are more concerned that readers properly cite our resources in their future publications. Best wishes, Jonathan Dembo

  9. Dear Arthur:

    Thank you for reading our blog and for your very kind comments about my Bryan Grimes post. I hope that I was able to provide you with some useful information. Please do return to see our most recent posts. I think you’ll be equally happy with them. Best wishes,

    Sincerely,

    Prof. Jonathan Dembo
    Special Collections Curator
    Manuscripts and Rare Books Dept.
    J. Y. Joyner Library
    East Carolina University
    Greenville, NC 2834

  10. Dear DIY Decorations:

    Thank you for your very kind and generous comments about my Brian Grimes post. I appreciate it very much. I feel, as do you, that information such as I included in the post should be spread as far as possible. I am not familiar with Google enough to comment on how they position our posts but I am certainly glad that you were eventually able to find them Please do return to our site to see our newer posts. I think that you will find them equally, if not more, interesting and informative.

    I will certainly visit your site in the near future.

    Sincerely,

    Prof. Jonathan Dembo
    Special Collections Curator
    Manuscripts and Rare Books Dept.
    J. Y. Joyner Library
    East Carolina University
    Greenville, NC 2834

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