Theophilus Hunter Holmes

Headstones: Find-a-Grave

Theophilus Hunter Holmes was born in Sampson County, North Carolina, November 13, 1804, and was graduated from West Point in 1829. He had attained the regular rank of major in the 8th Infantry and a brevet for gallant service in Mexico when he resigned, April 22, 1861. He was one of the fifteen field grade officers of the line of the old army to cast their lot with the Confederacy. He was successively appointed brigadier general on June 5, 1861, major general on October 7, 1861, and lieutenant general to rank from October 10, 1862, in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States. He commanded a brigade at First Manassas and a division during the Seven Days. He was subsequently assigned to the command of the Trans-Mississippi Department, from which he was ultimately relieved by General Kirby Smith. General Holmes then commanded the District of Arkansas for a time; and later organized the reserves of his native state. After the war he cultivated a small farm near Fayetteville, in Cumberland County, North Carolina, where he died June 21, 1880. Although undoubtedly the possessor of many soldierly qualities, it is apparent that he was unequal to his high rank. He was unsparingly criticized by D. H. Hill for apathy at Malvern Hill; and numerous complaints of Holmes' inefficiency and jealousy of Sterling Price were received in Richmond during his service in the Trans-Mississippi. He was described personally as being "simple in his tastes, brave, true, and just in his deportment ... a splendid example of an unpretentious North Carolina patriot and gentleman."  He is buried in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

Previous Page

Ref: Generals in Gray, Lives of the Confederate Commanders by Ezra J. Warner.  Printed by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge and London.