Confederate Veteran Bryan Grimes Murdered by Assassin

Brian Grimes

On August 14, 1880, while returning home from a political convention in Beaufort County, Bryan Grimes was murdered by a hired assassin near Bear Creek, about five miles from his home in Pitt County. The murder was planned to prevent him from testifying in a court case.

Grimes was born in 1828 in Pitt County on his family’s plantation, “Grimesland.” A successful planter, he served the Confederacy throughout the entire war. He signed North Carolina’s secession ordinance, enlisted soon after, rose to the rank of Major General and served until Lee’s surrender at Appomattox.

After the surrender of Confederate troops and the end of the war, Grimes returned home. He worked to rebuild his family’s plantation to its former prosperity, and again became one of the most successful planters in North Carolina. Grimes lived in Pitt County with his second wife, Charlotte Emily Bryan, and his children until his death. At that time, he was a trustee for the University of North Carolina and well-respected throughout the state.

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4 responses to “Confederate Veteran Bryan Grimes Murdered by Assassin”

  1. Cotton Boll Conspiracy says :

    Was the assassin caught? What was the case for which Grimes was preparing to testify?

  2. Bobby Edwards says :

    My fascination with Bryan Grimes began as a young boy, as the Grimes name was brought up often in family conversations. My mother and father married in 1930, and for awhile lived with her Davenport family in Beaufort county. George Davenport and Joseph Edwards collectively purchased the old 1790 plantation home and farm of Dempsie Grimes. Mom and Dad began their family in the old farm house of the General. Through most of my life living at home,my mother would often mention stories of living as she often called it – ‘The Old Dempsie Grimes Place’.

    My uncle verified that the Old Dempsie Grimes place was the General’s home, and that mom and dad moved there in the 2nd or 3rd year of marriage. I have family that was born in the home, and I feel some connection with the place.

    According to the Harrell book on Major Gen. Bryan Grimes, William Parker, the assassin was tried for the murder, however – there was a mistrial. The judge moved the trial to Williamston, and Parker was acquitted. A few years later, Parker would return to Washington, and at a bar would confess to the murder. He was locked up in the jail, and early after midnight was broken out of the jail, and on the bridge that Bryan Grimes had owned at Bear Creek – the vigilantes hung William Parker from the middle of the bridge railings. Parker was found hanging later
    that morning by someone taking a barge up the Tar River.

    Bryan Grimes led the last charge at Appomattox.

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