Original Photograph and Letter of Confederate General Isaac R. Trimble
Transcription of letter:
"Baltimore, Mar. 31, 1886
Benj. W. Austin, Esq.
Dear Sir: I have received your letter of 22nd Mar. informing me that I have been elected an honorary member of the North Western Literary and Historical Society. For this unexpected honor I beg to return my thanks. I appreciate very highly the good opinion & kindness of the Society, as evidenced by this act of courtesy.
I am very respectfully and
Very sincerely, yours.
Isaac R. Trimble"
TRIMBLE, ISAAC R. MARYLAND.
Brigadier general, P. A. C. S., August 9, 1861.
Major general, P. A. C. S., January 17, 1863.
Died at Baltimore, Maryland, January 2, 1888.
Commanding brigade at Evansport, on Potomac River, November 13, 1861.
Afterward commanding brigade composed of the Twenty-first Georgia, Twenty-first North Carolina, and Sixteenth Mississippi Regiments Infantry, and Courtney's Virginia Battery of Light Artillery, Longstreet's Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.
At battle of Fredericksburg, commanding brigade composed of the Twelfth and Twenty-first Georgia, the Fifteenth Alabama, and Twenty-first North Carolina Regiments Infantry, Ewell's Division, Jackson's Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.
Commanding T. J. Jackson's Old Division, Second Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.
At battle of Chancellorsville, division composed of the brigades of Colston, Paxton, Nichols, and Jones.
At Gettysburg commanded a division in A. P. Hill's Third Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, where he was seriously wounded, losing his left foot.
Trimble, Isaac Ridgeway, born in Virginia; appointed from Kentucky cadet United States Military Academy, November 23, 1818; graduated seventeenth in a class of forty.
Brevet second lieutenant Third Artillery, July 1, 1822.
Second lieutenant, First Artillery, July 1, 1822.
Resigned May 31, 1832.
Major-General Isaac Ridgeway Trimble was born in Culpeper county, Virginia, May 15, 1802. He was graduated at the national military academy in 1822, and was detailed to survey the military road from Washington to the Ohio river, having won distinction at West Point in engineering.
In 1832 he resigned from the army, and becoming chief engineer of the Baltimore and Susquehanna railroad, completed that line to York, Pa., in 1837. He was subsequently chief engineer of the Philadelphia, Wilmington & Baltimore and the Boston & Providence railroads, and in 1860 was engaged in large railroad operations in the West Indies.
During April, 1861, he was in command of the Baltimore organizations for the defense of the city from the Federal troops. He entered the service of Virginia, as colonel of engineers, in May, 1861, and was assigned by General Lee to the duty of constructing the defenses of Norfolk. In August he was commissioned brigadier-general in the Confederate provisional army, and ordered to report to General Johnston, by whom he was put in command of a brigade at Evansport, with the duty of erecting batteries and blockading the river against Federal shipping.
Subsequently he was assigned to the command of a brigade of Ewell's division, which he accompanied to the support of Jackson in the Valley campaign of 1862. In this famous series of glorious battles and brilliant maneuvers he bore a conspicuous part, and at Cross Keys was particularly distinguished, where in command of two brigades, he repulsed the attack of Fremont, and being reinforced, in turn advanced and routed the enemy.
During the Seven Days' battles before Richmond, his brigade continued to be distinguished, particularly at Cold Harbor, where Trimble led in person a successful charge against the Federal defenses. Moving with Jackson's command against Pope, he fought his men with gallantry at Slaughter's Mountain; and at the time when Jackson lay in the enemy's rear at Bristoe Station, he was roused on the night of August 27th to receive notice that he could if he chose, capture Manassas Junction before morning.
With five hundred men, already weary, he marched at once, and by midnight had crushed the Federal resistance at the point of the bayonet, and without the loss of a man killed, captured three hundred prisoners, eight guns and the immense Federal stores. Jackson at once wrote to him, "I congratulate you on the great success which God has given you. You deserve promotion to major- general," and in his official report he wrote: "I regard the capture of Manassas Junction Station at night, after a march of thirty-four miles without food, as the most brilliant achievement that has come under my notice during the war."
In the battle of the 28th before Groveton, he fought on the extreme left, and during the severe battle of the 29th he was seriously wounded. Promoted major-general in January, 1863, he was given the honorable assignment of command of Jackson's old division. In June, 1863, Lee offered him command of the valley of Virginia, to form the left wing of the army, with headquarters at Staunton, and orders to form into brigades "under you all the Maryland troops -- a measure I have much atheart."
During the grapple of the contending armies at Gettysburg, Pender fell on the first day, and General Trimble was assigned to the command of his division of A. P. Hill's corps. This division he led in co-operation with Pickett in the famous attack against the Federal center on July 3rd, and being so severely wounded as to cause the loss of a leg, fell into the hands of the enemy.
He was held as a prisoner of war at Johnson's Island and Fort Warren, despite earnest efforts made for his release, until February,1865, when two Federal major-generals, Crook and Kelly, were finally received in exchange. He hastened to join General Lee, but upon reaching Lynchburg found that the army had been surrendered.
As the leader selected by Lee under whom the Confederate soldiers of Maryland were to have been organized, General Trimble holds a position of particular prominence in the military history of his adopted State. His chivalrous character, great personal bravery, and capacity for generalship, were proved on many occasions.
It may be said with the hearty approval of all of Maryland's brave soldiers that among them, as Gen. Bradley Johnson says, he performed the most distinguished service, obtained the highest rank and won the greatest fame.
After the close of hostilities he made his home at Baltimore until his death, which occurred January 2, 1888.
Inventory Number: DOC 136