Colonel Grimes and the 4th Regiment N.C.T.

Colonel Grimes and the Fourth Regiment N.C.T.
Fayetteville Observer, June, 1863

It will be admitted that no regiment in the Confederate Army has suffered 
in this war more than the Fourth Regiment North Carolina State Troops, 
commanded by Colonel Bryan Grimes of Pitt County.  

This regiment was ordered to Virginia soon after the Battle of Manassas 
and encamped at Centreville, near that famous battleground, with about 
1,200 strong, under the late General George B. Anderson.  

Lt. Col. Young having soon resigned, Major Grimes was promoted to lieutenant 
colonel, and upon Colonel Anderson’s promotion, Lt. Col. Grimes succeeded 
to the command.

The regiment went nobly through the Peninsula campaign, and at the Battle 
of Seven Pines, and before Richmond, it did most efficient service.  At the 
Battle of Seven Pines, it did most efficient service, and probably suffered 
more than any other regiment engaged, having nearly every officer wounded 
and several killed, its colonel having two horses killed under him, the flag shot 
37 times, and seven shot down while bearing the flag in a charge, four of whom 
were killed, when it was seized by the gallant colonel, carried and planted upon 
the captured battery—and leaving after the battle only about 100 men fit for duty.

Since that battle the regiment has been reinforced by about 300 conscripts.  
At the late battle on the Rappahannock, this regiment was in the thickest of the 
fight, and did great damage to the enemy but paid most dearly for it.  Col. 
Grimes went into the engagement with 347 men and 29 officers and came out 
with only 51 men and 5 officers. 

The regiment is said to have made several most gallant charges and successfully 
carried batteries.  Col. Grimes, while leading his men, received three slight wounds, 
one in the hand, another in the side and the third in his foot.  The wound in the 
side was caused by a ball or piece of shell striking the buckle or clasp which 
fastened his sword and so bending it as to make a slight flesh wound, and tearing 
the scabbard from his side, the ball glancing without doing further injury.  The 
wound in the foot was quite painful but not of sufficient importance to keep him 
from duty more than two or three days.  While waving his sword it was struck by 
a ball and broken off about ten inches from the point.  The sword is now in this 
city; being useless for services, has been sent to a relative and bears truthful 
evidence of his being in the thickest of the fight.

Col. Grimes is said to have borne himself with great gallantry and determination, 
and as displaying the utmost coolness and skill.  Those who have known him 
before the war have expected nothing less.  Of firm and flexible purpose, and 
unwavering determination, of unquestionable courage, and possessing capital 
sense.  Quiet, unassuming and unobtrusive in his manners, he is endowed by 
nature with the characteristics of a true gentleman and the requisites of a valiant 
soldier, never shrinking from any responsibility, but always steadfast, straight-forward 
and unswerving in the performance of his duty.

I hope soon to see his promotion to a brigadier general, a position to which his past 
services have long since entitled him.  Col. Grimes, however, has enlisted “for the 
war”, and has taken his stand by his country from the most patriotic motives, and if 
his claims are overlooked, he will not overlook the fact that his country needs his 
services—and the same spirit that has marked his past, will continue to mark his 
future course to the termination of this unhappy war.

Transcribed by Christine Spencer February 2008

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