Marylander in Great Charge (The Baltimore Sun)

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Marylander in Great Charge (The Baltimore Sun)

  1. 1. Marylander in great charge - Baltimore Sun Page 1 of 1 Advertisement You are here: Sun Home → Collections → Trimble FIND MORE STORIES ABOUT Marylander in great charge Trimble: A scrappy Baltimorean who was on medical leave and without a command accompanied the Trimble Southern army to Gettysburg and wound up commanding two brigades in Pickett's Charge Stonewall Jackson Gettysburg : A Remembrance Gettysburg July 04, 1999 | By Jacqueline Durett | Jacqueline Durett,Special to the Sun FEATURED ARTICLES The general without a command -- that was Baltimorean Maj. Gen. Isaac Ridgeway Trimble in July 1863, just before Pickett's Charge. Lee attacks Union center July 4, 1999 Trimble had ridden with Lee to Gettysburg without any official duties, but after Maj. Gen. William Dorsey Pender's death on the second day of Gettysburg, Trimble, who was still on medical leave from wounds received at the Second Civil War relics draw visitors and con Battle ofBull Run, was given command of half of Pender's men -- two brigades from North Carolina. artists September 15, 2002 Under Trimble, one brigade was headed by Brig. Gen. James S. Lane and the other by Brig. Gen. Alfred M. Scales. Armistead pierces Union line June 23, 2002 Advertisement 'A rising star' Trimble was a man of ambition. He was a "rising star under Stonewall Jackson," Taylor described. One reason for this, Taylor said, was that he repeatedly urged night attacks, which was an uncommon practice at the time. His performance at the Second Battle of Bull Run helped earn his favor with Maj. Gen. Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson. Jackson wrote of Trimble's actions there: "I regard that day's achievement as the most brilliant that has come under my observation during the present war." Born in May 1802 in Culpeper, Va., Trimble, who was the third and highest-ranking Marylander in gray at Gettysburg, had strong Southern roots. The West Point graduate took up residence in Baltimore in 1832 after 10 years of service as an artillery officer. He then became actively involved with railroads. "He went to West Point and put his engineering skills to use on the Baltimore and Susquehanna Railroad. General Trimble was serving his tour of duty in the U.S. Artillery when the railroads were coming into their own as a means of transportation. Your West Point graduates were mostly engineers when they graduated, and the railroad saw the opportunity to take some of them to help establish the railroad," said Lee Houser. Houser is an expert on the life of Trimble -- he's been portraying him for five years as part of the Civil War Heritage Foundation living- history group. Houser chose to portray Trimble for two reasons: "I did a lot of research on various generals and found him to be a very interesting person, [and] I did resemble him to an extent [in] facial features." Houser explained that Trimble had lived a full life before the war began -- entering the war he was 59, and at the time of Pickett's Charge he was 62. Houser also pointed out that Trimble's life went beyond the military, and according to the re-enactor, his demeanor toward his family is quite a contrast to that on the battlefield. 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Next Index by Keyword | Index by Date | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1999-07-04/news/9907060237_1_trimble-gettysburg-houser 3/26/2010
  2. 2. Marylander in great charge - Baltimore Sun - Page 2 Page 1 of 1 Advertisement You are here: Sun Home → Collections → Trimble FIND MORE STORIES ABOUT Marylander in great charge Trimble: A scrappy Baltimorean who was on medical leave and without a command accompanied the Trimble Southern army to Gettysburg and wound up commanding two brigades in Pickett's Charge Stonewall Jackson Gettysburg : A Remembrance Gettysburg July 04, 1999 | By Jacqueline Durett | Jacqueline Durett,Special to the Sun FEATURED ARTICLES (Page 2 of 4) Lee attacks Union center Houser called Trimble a "Southern gentleman. ... He was always respectful of his two wives and his kids. His family July 4, 1999 always came first in civilian life or military." Civil War relics draw visitors and con Trimble married two prominent sisters from Baltimore and outlived both women. By his first wife, Maria Ferguson artists Cattell Presstman, he had two sons (actually four, with twins who had died in infancy). September 15, 2002 Maria Presstman died in 1855. Three years later, Trimble married her sister, Ann Calhoun Cattell Presstman, who Armistead pierces Union line lived until 1878. June 23, 2002 Advertisement But the family man also a strong sense of patriotic duty. "He had Virginia, Kentucky and Maryland roots when the war started and believed in states' rights and supported secession from the Union to maintain those rights. Virginia seceded and Kentucky and Maryland were close to seceding but never seceded and were what we consider today border states with support on both sides -- Union and Confederate. Trimble was on the side that supported the Southern states," Houser said. Houser said that Trimble's writings indicate that he "hated the Union troops and just like other Southern people of that time wanted to be left alone." A dynamic personality In addition to his military career and strong support of the South, Trimble was also known for his dynamic personality. "He's definitely a very volatile individual," said Rich Kohr, a narrator of the Gettysburg re-enactment from Gettysburg Military Museum. Houser agreed with Kohr that Trimble had an domineering personality. "The general was very aggressive, always very outspoken, always telling people what he thought on any topic. This was in his military career, always telling [Lt. Gen. Richard S.] Ewell, Jackson and even [Gen. Robert E.] Lee how the battle should be fought." Trimble's attitude accompanied him on the battlefield as well, Houser explained. "He was very pugnacious, fiery and aggressive in the field of battle also. For instance at the Battle of Cross Keys, after stopping the federals with a volley which staggered them, he had driven the enemy about a mile ahead of his own lines. General Ewell had to stop him from going on any farther or he might have gone on and destroyed the federal army at that point." The day before Pickett's Charge, Trimble attempted to assert authority as well, despite the fact that he had been promoted to major general just three months before. Prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Next Index by Keyword | Index by Date | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1999-07-04/news/9907060237_1_trimble-gettysburg-houser/2 3/26/2010
  3. 3. Marylander in great charge - Baltimore Sun - Page 3 Page 1 of 1 Advertisement You are here: Sun Home → Collections → Trimble FIND MORE STORIES ABOUT Marylander in great charge Trimble: A scrappy Baltimorean who was on medical leave and without a command accompanied the Trimble Southern army to Gettysburg and wound up commanding two brigades in Pickett's Charge Stonewall Jackson Gettysburg : A Remembrance Gettysburg July 04, 1999 | By Jacqueline Durett | Jacqueline Durett,Special to the Sun FEATURED ARTICLES (Page 3 of 4) Lee attacks Union center "Trimble was telling Ewell to take the high ground around Culp's and Cemetery Hills," Houser said. But Trimble's idea July 4, 1999 was ignored, he said. "He told Ewell, 'Give me a division, and I will take that hill.' Ewell said nothing. Trimble said, 'Give me one brigade, and I will take that hill.' Again Ewell said nothing. Trimble said, 'Give me one regiment, and I Civil War relics draw visitors and con will take that hill.' Again Ewell stood there and said nothing." artists September 15, 2002 But when Ewell finally did respond, he was harsh. "Ewell did tell Trimble that he would not take any advice from his junior officers. Trimble stormed and went out to scope the area," Houser said. Armistead pierces Union line June 23, 2002 Not everyone agrees that Trimble was essential at Gettysburg. Carol Reardon, associate professor of American history at Pennsylvania State University, said, "Trimble is a bit player on July 3. ... He is only in temporary command of two brigades in this attack. Moreover, these two brigades are in the second line of attack, so they are cast more in a support role than as the first-line assault force." Advertisement One reason that Trimble may have had a comparatively small role in the charge was that he was injured going into Gettysburg. He had been hit in the left knee at Second Manassas on Aug. 28, 1862. After some recovery, he was promoted to major general. The combination of these two events made him known as what Houser calls "the major general without a division to lead" going into Gettysburg. Houser explained the significance of this sequence. "Confederate law stated that being a major general you had to be competent to lead a division. Since his wound had not fully healed he was not able to lead a division in the army. He was to be given General Jackson's old division, but he could not officially lead them. This led to Gen. Ed 'Allegany' Johnson being given command of Jackson's division." Therefore, Houser concluded, "When Trimble was healed he had no division to lead." Despite the injury, Trimble wanted desperately to take part in the Gettysburg battle. "He's bound and determined that he is going to get in on this," Kohr said. But that old injury would haunt him again. "As he was leading his men across the open field on horseback, he made it across Emmitsburg Road and was wounded in the same left leg that he was wounded at Second Manassas 10 months earlier. His horse, Jinny, was killed in the charge. Reardon said, "He's wounded in the leg before the real crunch time comes, so he's not in there to help push his men toward the wall that marks the Union line." Prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | Next Index by Keyword | Index by Date | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1999-07-04/news/9907060237_1_trimble-gettysburg-houser/3 3/26/2010
  4. 4. Marylander in great charge - Baltimore Sun - Page 4 Page 1 of 1 Advertisement You are here: Sun Home → Collections → Trimble FIND MORE STORIES ABOUT Marylander in great charge Trimble: A scrappy Baltimorean who was on medical leave and without a command accompanied the Trimble Southern army to Gettysburg and wound up commanding two brigades in Pickett's Charge Stonewall Jackson Gettysburg : A Remembrance Gettysburg July 04, 1999 | By Jacqueline Durett | Jacqueline Durett,Special to the Sun FEATURED ARTICLES (Page 4 of 4) Lee attacks Union center Because of his injury, he had to be left behind at Gettysburg and was then taken prisoner for 22 months. He was July 4, 1999 taken to the home of a friend who had known Trimble during his railroad career. Trimble had to spend a good deal of time in the hospital. Civil War relics draw visitors and con artists "He was seriously wounded so he had to be left behind. He had his left leg amputated below the knee," Reardon September 15, 2002 said. Armistead pierces Union line Reardon said that Trimble was not known for being a good patient. "He appears in a few hospital accounts after the June 23, 2002 battle -- apparently he was a really bad patient, griping and complaining constantly as he recovered from his amputation." Advertisement 'I suffer no pain' This is quite a contrast to Trimble's own account where he wrote on Aug. 3, 1863, "This day a month ago I was wounded. My leg is healing fast and I suffer no pain." After the amputation, Trimble was moved to the Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg to recover. He was then sent to Fort McHenry, which Houser described as a "holding prison until you could be shipped to a larger prison." Trimble's next stop was Johnson's Island in Ohio along Lake Erie, which was followed by Fort Warren in Boston Harbor. Though fellow generals were being exchanged during the remainder of the war, there was no hope for Trimble, Houser said. "Secretary of War [Edwin M.] Stanton considered Trimble the most dangerous rebel in captivity because of his aggressiveness. They did not want to put a man like him back in the field, since they were trying to end the war." In addition, the Union men treated Trimble very harshly during his prison stay, Houser said, adding that the research he has done has led him to believe that Trimble was treated differently than other prisoners. He attributes this treatment to the fact that Trimble became the spokesperson for other prisoners who couldn't speak up. "If they had a complaint, ... he would be the spokesperson for the group," Houser said. Houser added that another reason that the Union wouldn't exchange him was that he had been involved in the burning of Maryland bridges so that Union troops wouldn't make it to Washington. In addition, anyone, politician or otherwise, who might be involved with succession, had been ordered arrested. Hence, Trimble was not exchanged until March 1865 for Union Maj. Gen. George Crook and Brig. Gen. Benjamin F. Kelley, who had been captured in Cumberland during a Confederate cavalry raid on Feb. 25, 1865. Lee surrendered before Trimble could reach him after his release. Trimble returned home and published accounts of his military career in numerous publications, such as the Maryland Historical Magazine. He died Jan. 2, 1888, in Baltimore and was buried with other Civil War generals at Baltimore's Green Mount Cemetery. Pub Date: 07/04/99 Prev | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 Index by Keyword | Index by Date | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service http://articles.baltimoresun.com/1999-07-04/news/9907060237_1_trimble-gettysburg-houser/4 3/26/2010

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