Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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HOLMES, Gabriel, governor of North Carolina, born in Sampson county, North Carolina, in 1769; died near Clinton, North Carolina, 26 September, 1829. He was educated under a clergyman in Iredell county, North Carolina, and at Harvard, studied law, was admitted to the bar, and practised in Clinton, North Carolina He sat in the legislature from 1793 till 1813. In 1821 that body elected him governor of the state, and at the close of his term he was chosen a member of congress, and reelected for the following term, serving from 3 December, 1825, till 3 March, 1829. He was re-elected a second time, but died before taking his seat.--His son, Theophilus Hunter, soldier, born in Sampson county, North Carolina, in 1804; died near Fayetteville, North Carolina, 21 June. 1880, was graduated at the United States military academy in 1829, served on the western frontier, and as lieutenant, and captain of infantry in the Florida war, the occupation of Texas, and the war with Mexico, receiving the brevet of major for gallantry in the engagements before Monterey. He was commissioned major on 3 March, 1855, took part, in the Navajo expedition of 1858-'9, and was superintendent of the general recruiting service when the civil war began. He went on leave of absence to North Carolina, where he owned large estates, resigned his commission on 22 April, 1861, and was at once made a brigadier-general in the service of the state. He organized many of the North Carolina regiments, and selected their commanding officers. When North Carolina joined the Confederacy he was commissioned a brigadier-general by the Confederate government, he commanded at Aquia Creek, and was engaged in the various campaigns of northern Virginia, rising to be major-general in the Confederate army. In September, 1862, he was transferred to the command of the trans-Mississippi department, with headquarters at Little Rock, Arkansas he was tendered a commission as lieutenant-general while there, and at first declined, but accepted when Jefferson Davis pressed it upon him a second time. In March, 1863, he was at his own request relieved in the command of the department by General E. Kirby Smith. He attacked Helena, Arkansas, on 3 July, 1863, and was driven back with heavy losses.
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