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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