Theophilus Hunter Holmes
(November 13, 1804 ‚Äď June
21, 1880) was a career U.S.
officer and a Confederate
general in the American Civil War
born in Clinton,
North Carolina. He graduated from the United States
Military Academy in 1829, near the bottom of his class (44th out of
46), and was commissioned a brevet
second lieutenant in
the 7th U.S.
Infantry. During the Mexican-American War
, he was brevetted
to major for the Battle of
in September 1846 and received a full promotion to
major of the 8th U.S. Infantry in 1855.
immediately after the firing on Fort Sumter, Holmes resigned his commission in the U.S.
his command of Fort Columbus, Governors
Island in New York City on (April 22, 1861), having
accepted a commission as a colonel in the Confederate States Army in
He commanded the coastal defenses of the Department
of North Carolina and then served as a brigadier
in the North Carolina Militia. He was appointed
June 5, 1861, commanding the Department of Fredericksburg. He was
promoted to major
on October 7, 1861. During the Seven Days Battles
of the Peninsula Campaign
of 1862, he fought
under Robert E. Lee
, although part of the Department of North
Carolina rather than the Army
of Northern Virginia
. He was transferred to the Trans-Mississippi Department
July 1862, was promoted to lieutenant general
October 10, and commanded the District of Arkansas. Western
Confederates are described as having complained Holmes was simply
not fit for this assignment, accusing him of mismanagement and
For the final year of the war he commanded the Reserve Forces of
North Carolina and surrendered along with General Joseph E. Johnston
to William Tecumseh Sherman
26, 1865. He returned to North Carolina, where he spent the rest of
his life as a farmer.
died in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and is buried there in McPherson Presbyterian
- Eicher, John H., and Eicher, David
J., Civil War High Commands, Stanford University
Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
- Walther, Eric H., "William Lowndes Yancey and the Coming of the
Civil War", The University of North Carolina Press Chapel Hill,