Sunday, May 19, 2013

May 20, 1863 (Wednesday): Trimble Gets A Job Offer

General Isaac Trimble

May 20, 1863.
Shocco Springs, N. C.:
   MY DEAR GENERAL: I am delighted to hear by your letter of the 13th that you are doing so well. I was very much grieved at your attack, and started one day to see you, but was told it was thought better you should be quiet. I hope you will soon recover your strength, but you must not return to the field until able to endure fatigue. I have a proposition to make: it is that you take command, if able, of the Shenandoah Valley. Colonel Davidson is in local command at Staunton. General Jenkins with his cavalry will be below. You will have all the Maryland troops, which I hope you will be able to organize and build up into something respectable. Their organization has been a failure so far, you will be in a beautiful, healthy county; can give general supervision of operations there; will form the left wing of this army, and shall have permission to capture Milroy and take Maryland as soon as you can.
    Let me know when you will be able to enter on your new command and I will issue the order. I want some one there at once, as I intend to bring W. E. Jones' brigade east of the mountains as soon as he returns from the west. He ought to reach Staunton to morrow.
     With many thanks for your kind letter, and feeling with you sympathy at our heavy loss of the great and good Jackson, I remain, very truly yours,

      R. E. LEE.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 25, Part 2, Page 812.

Trimble was a difficult subordinate, having much influence in Maryland but little tact and a high estimation of his own abilities.  He had been wounded at Second Manassas and recovered with difficulty.  Trimble did have some ability and the assignment would be preferable to displaying an existing general within the current Army of Northern Virginia command structure.  Shocco Springs was a spa near Warrenton, North Carolina which utilized the local mineral waters, and at one time was the second most popular such resort on the east coast and heavily visited.

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