The Civil War in North Carolina

Reminiscences and Memoirs of North Carolina and Eminent North Carolinians

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                         "His life was gentle, and the elements
                         So mixed in him, that Nature might stand up
                         And say to all the world, This was a man."

        General Grimes was the ready and devoted friend of every movement to advance the wellfare and prosperity of his State. He was the steady and consistent advocate of all improvements and of education. He was the constant friend and patron of his Alma Mater, in so much so, that one of the literary societies (the Philanthropic) has procured his portrait, executed by that faithful artist, Wm. Garl Browne, to whose genius and talent our State is deeply indebted for the preservation of the features of so many of her distinguished sons. The following letter to Mr. Browne, post-marked on the same day he was killed, is probably the last letter that General Grimes ever wrote.

"WASHINGTON, N. C., August 12, 1880.


Washington City, D. C.

        "MY DEAR SIR: Your letter forwarded through Mr. Cowper to hand. When the portrait is completed, please put it in a suitable frame and write in paint colors and small letters on the back of the canvas, "Bryan Grimes, Major-General Provisional Army Confederate States," also your own name as artist. Have it boxed and addressed to the Philanthropic Society, Chapel Hill, N. C., care of Messrs. James Pender, C. B. Aycock and Locke Craige, committee. Prepaythe freight by express, at same time notify the gentlemen that you have, by my request, shipped the box to their address. Send original portraits back to Raleigh, care of Pulaski Cowper, and send your bill for it all to me. I will not insult you by asking if the portrait is well done, for I know otherwise it could not come from your hand.

Very truly yours,


        (Postmarked 14th August, 1880, the day he was killed.)

        The perpetrator of his foul assassination was never convicted; the alleged cause was that General Grimes became an important witness in some criminal matter, and the parties took this means to prevent his testimony from being given.

        General Grimes was twice married; first to Miss Bettie Davis, and second to Miss Charlotte Bryan, daughter of the late Hon. John H. Bryan, (member of Congress 1825-27,) and leaves a large family to deplore his untimely fate.

        In Moore's "History of North Carolina" is the following tribute to General Grimes: "In the disastrous, final retreat there were many brave deeds done by the troops of North Carolina. Especially did Major-General Bryan Grimes and Brigadier General William R. Cox distinguish themselves. General Grimes had won his way to the proud position he then held amid the few immortals surviving the many glorious conflicts waged by the Army of Northern Virginia. His bravery and devotion were supervised by an intelligent and scrupulous regard for his command, and no officer rendered fuller or more patriotic duty to the Southern cause." General Grimes furnished the historian with a most interesting sketch of the closing scenes of the conflict in Virginia. From this narrative I make a number of extracts: "About 9 o'clock," says General Grimes, "I heard the roar of artillery in our front, and in consequence of information received, I had my command aroused in time, and passed through the town of Appomattox Court House before daylight, where, on the opposite side of the town, I found the enemy in my front. Throwing out skirmishers and forming a line of battle, I reconnoitred and satisfied myself as to their position, and awaited the arrival of General
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