Merrell Rimmer was born to Samuel Richard Rimmer and Elizabeth Blalock Rimmer, of Hurdle Mills, Person County, North Carolina. Elijah Hasten Rimmer, his eldest brother, enlisted in the 50th Regiment, Co. A, on 15 March 1863. Merrell, the next in the family line, enlisted in the 24th Regiment, Co. H, on 1 March 1862 in Person County, North Carolina. James, his younger brother, had left North Carolina and lived in Mississippi when the War Between the States began. James enlisted in Canton, Mississippi on 28 April 1862. The youngest son, Samuel Rimmer, enlisted in the 50th Regiment, Co. A, on 1 May 1862 in Person County, North Carolina.
Although these dates are not unusual, one can only imagine how the parents and wives of these young soldiers worried about their well-being. They all left wives and children at home to join the Confederacy.
Merrell and his wife, Sarah Jane Horton Rimmer, had two children. At the time of Merrell’s enlistment, he left behind two young sons. This too, was not unusual during the war. One can only assume that Merrell and Sarah’s families helped her to keep her two little children alive in her husband’s absence.
Hasten, Samuel and James Rimmer returned safely home. This was not to be for Merrell.
Merrell died at Bermuda Hundred. Unknown to some, this was not one battle but a campaign composed of several skirmishes. During the Campaign of Bermuda Hundred, Merrell Rimmer survived the May 6-7th skirmish at Port Warthall Junction; May 9th skirmish at Swift Creek; May 10th skirmish at Chester Station; May 12-16th severe skirmish at Procter’s Creek, and lost his life at the final skirmish of the Bermuda Hundred Campaign at the final skirmish at Ware Bottom Church on May 20, 1864. Approximately 10,000 troops took part in this skirmish which was considered a victory for the Confederacy.
Merrell Rimmer’s exact burial location is unknown, and likely he was interred in one of the burial grounds near the battle field. His legacy lives on through the families of his sons, their families, and and myself, his proud great-great niece.