Centennial of Grimes' battery. From Richmond, Va., news leader, January 8, 1910.Portsmouth artillery Celebrates Hundredth Birthday of organization.
Grimes' battery, a famous artillery organization of Portsmouth, is 100 years old and the anniversary is being celebrated by its members. Not many citizens of the city of Portsmouth are aware of the fact that Grimes' battery is the oldest artillery organization in the State of Virginia, and that the year 1910 marks its one hundred anniversary, says the Portsmouth Star. Grimes' battery was organized in the year 1810, and is as well known in the records of the government and war department and outside the State of Virginia, as any organization in the country. The battery is an historical organization of which the city of Portsmouth and her citizens may well be proud of, and its record is one filled with the glorious achievements through when Portsmouth came to be one of the makers of the history of our country and our State. The Portsmouth Light Artillery was organized in 1810, and under the command of Captain Arthur Emmerson, it achieved an enviable record in the war of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain. One of its principal engagements in that war was at the battle of Craney Island, in 1814, which is contributed materially to the repulse of the British. It continued in existence and was ordered into the service of the Confederacy on the 20th of April, 1861, under the command of Captain Carey F. Grimes, and on the night of April 20, 1861, was on duty with its guns parked at the intersection of High and Court streets, Portsmouth. During the Civil War, this command, then known as Grimes' battery, its name having been changed on the 20th of July, 1861,  was known throughout the Confederate army as a fighting organization. It was common knowledge that Grimes' battery never shirked a duty or shrunk from obeying an order because the execution thereof was attended with danger, for the courage of its officers and men was proverbial bordering even upon rashness, and on numerous occasions the battery received the commendation of General Anderson, to whose division it was attached. The battery served in the following engagements of the Civil War: ‘Hofflers Creek, April 23, 1862; Pasquotank River, May 2, 1862; Seven Days Fight, June 26, 1862; Malvern Hill, July I, 1862; Warrenton Springs, August 26, 1862; Second Manassas, August 30, 1862; Crampton Gap, September 14, 1862; Sharpsburg, September 17, 1862.’ In this last battle Captain Grimes was killed, and after this, horses becoming scarce, Grimes' battery was merged into Huger's and Moorman's batteries, but as far as possible kept up a separate organization known as Grimes' battery. Thus it will be seen that this organization, besides being a present credit to the city, has been, indeed, a maker of history. Battery ‘C,’ First battalion field artillery, Virginia Volunteers, has in the last five years made rapid strides to make itself an organization worthy of its predecessors. Three years ago it had only a few men who could be depended upon and very few uniforms, with four obsolete muzzle-loading three-inch rifles. At present its equipment is second to none in the United States army or the National Guard. It has upon its rolls eighty-two officers and men who are ready for duty at all times. In these three years it has, through persistent efforts, built up an organization fully uniformed, with equipment and uniforms for 133 men. It has gotten the city to build a gun-room in the rear of the Park View engine-house, in which it has stored the most modern type of three-inch field battery, which cost the government $100,000. This battery consists of four three-inch breechload-ing field pieces, eight caissons, one battery wagon and one store wagon, with the personal equipment and harness for 108 horses and 133 men, and is a sight well worth the time to any person  to see. It is in charge of a competent caretaker, who is there from 8 A. M., until 5 P. M., and always willing to show visitors the gun-room and its equipment. The battery has full uniforms and equipment of the latest pattern for all of its officers and men, and is prepared to take the field at the shortest notice. Portsmouth can well afford to be proud of Battery ‘C,’ and her younger citizens are always eager to fill its ranks whenever a vacancy occurs, for being a member of this organization means something to a young man which he will carry proudly with him through life. The city and its citizens are proud that they have for their own, the oldest artillery organization in the State of Virginia, which maintains and will always maintain a record which the city of Portsmouth can hold up with pride to the world. The present officers of the battery are: Captain, Harry H. Brinkley; first lieutenants, J. Lewis Thomas and Lewis W. Thoman; second lieutenants, J. Warren Thompson and I. Lindsay Leafe. The present storage facilities are by far too small for its needs, and some effort will be made to at least double the size of the gun-room. The members say it would be a paying investment for the city to help this organization by doubling the size of its gun shed.