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Merrell Rimmer was born to Samuel Richard Rimmer and Elizabeth Blalock Rimmer, of Hurdle Mills, Person County, North Carolina. Merrell enlisted in the 24th Regiment, Co. H, on 1 March 1, 1862 in Person County, North Carolina. Elijah Hasten Rimmer, his eldest brother, enlisted in the 50th Regiment, Co. A, on March 15, 1863. James, his younger brother, had left North Carolina and lived in Mississippi when the Civil War began. James enlisted in Canton, Mississippi on April 28, 1862. Merrell’s youngest brother, Samuel Rimmer, enlisted in the 50th Regiment, Co. A,  on May 1, 1862 in Person County, North Carolina. One can only imagine how the parents and the wives of those 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. Sarah and her extended family provided for their sons during her husband’s absence.

Samuel and James Rimmer returned safely home. That was not the case for young Merrell.

Merrell died at Bermuda Hundred. Unknown to some, that 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 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 at one of the burial grounds near the battle field. His legacy lives on through the families of his sons, through their families, and through myself, his proud great-great niece.

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