Correcting a historical injustice, the N.C. Sons of Confederate Veterans have commissioned a memorial to honor Lt. General Theophilus Hunter Holmes. The dedication took place on Saturday 27th, April 2019. Please enjoy the history as you read the N.C. SCV Commander’s and Chief of Staff’s Comments, as well, some additional photos of this new memorial, to one of North Carolina’s finest.
I want to welcome you all here today for this very important milestone in North Carolina’s history. I thank you for coming and for helping us to finally honor a man who has been treated roughly by history’s authors and who has largely been forgotten.
I will let my Chief of Staff talk more about the man we honor here today and his life, but I want to say that despite what you think you know about him and his service during the War, Theophilus Hunter Holmes was a Tar Heel that we can be proud of and that should be honored for his service to his state and to the Confederate States of America.
I believe that a quote from British author Rudyard Kipling sums up our current state of affairs as it regards not only General Holmes, but Confederate Veterans in general:
“In times of war and not before,
God and the soldier we adore.
But in times of peace and all things righted, God is forgotten and the soldier slighted.”
Nothing could more accurately illustrate our problem today. Our country and our political leaders disavow God and malign heroes. They prop up socialism in all of its forms and treat us and our ancestors as expendable nuisances. Great and loyal Confederates like General Holmes are consigned to the landfill of history with only a derisive footnote.
N.C. SCV Division Commander Kevin Stone
Our Confederate ancestors died to fight this. We must refuse to allow their sacrifices to be in vain. We act on that refusal that by teaching the young the truth and opening their minds, we act by fighting back as we are able and under the law, and we act by creating new memorials instead of watching them all fall. That is what we are doing and celebrating today.
Chief of Staff’s Comments:
I thank you all for coming to celebrate and dedicate something that is near to my heart and that I think exemplifies one major way in which we can try to turn back the tide that is against us and our ancestors. When we put up a memorial, especially one that does such justice to its subject, we are firing a proverbial volley against our enemies. While we have a long way to go in mounting a viable offense, we are still putting a memorial up for future generations to see in a prominent place in the center of our state. This Division will see to it that more will go up and we must be committed to the maxim that for each memorial that is torn down by a mob or removed by cowardly politicians, two must go up in its place. We are behind in the count but we can catch up. Here is one.
I want to speak about the man we honor here today, Lieutenant General Theophilus Hunter Holmes. He was a senior general in the Confederate Army from 1861 to 1865 and before that was a decorated veteran of the United States Army, having served his country on the frontier, in the Seminole War, and in the Mexican War, and in the Army Administration for over 32 years. He was born at his father’s home in 1804 in nearby Sampson County and died near here in Cumberland County in 1880. He is buried in the MacPherson Presbyterian Church Cemetery.
Part of the reason we chose to honor this man is because we often speak about truth in this organization. One of the great crimes committed against us and our ancestors by the federal government since 1865 is the obfuscation of truth and the intentional censorship of our history and heritage. One major victim of that protracted campaign is General Holmes. He was not only left out of the history books by his enemies, his so-called friends actively worked against his legacy.
“Holmes’ detractors used him as a convenient scapegoat for lost opportunities at First Manassas and in the Peninsular Campaign. They blamed him for the loss of Vicksburg and the Trans-Mississippi. Before the war ended, General P.G.T. Beauregard wrote ‘Epitaph of the Confederate States.’ He declared that the Confederacy was being ‘murdered by Jefferson Davis – aided and abetted’ by other members of his administration. Among the Confederacy’s ‘pallbearers’ listed by Beauregard, General Holmes’ name was prominent.
Subsequent writers diminished Holmes further. One historian, Briscoe Hindman, tried to rebuild his father, General Thomas Hindman’s wartime record at Holmes’ expense. By the early 20th century, Theophilus Holmes, one of only eighteen Confederate lieutenant generals, had faded into obscurity.
In June 1929, the 39th Reunion of the United Confederate Veterans was held in Charlotte, North Carolina. Thousands of former Confederate soldiers attended the week-long event. Confederate heritage groups at the Reunion included the Confederated Southern Memorial Association, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Children of the Confederacy, and the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The sixty-four-page official program of the reunion featured dozens of photographs and full-page articles including ‘North Carolina in the Confederacy,’ ‘Important Events of North Carolina, 1861-1865,’ and ‘some of North Carolina’s famous Generals.’ The program did not mention General Theophilus Hunter Holmes.”
Most of this is for two reasons. First, Holmes was not an egotistical or vain man. In simple terms, we would call him a gentleman. Where others jostled for position, Holmes served faithfully. Even to his yankee enemies, who he despised, he remained civil. He once said to a yankee officer in Arkansas, “We hate you with a cordial hatred.” Holmes was candid, and did not guard himself against personal honesty that would give others opportunity to criticize him for their own gain. Neither did he defend himself once criticized. Though this manner of operating is certainly that of a true gentleman, his reputation suffered needlessly at the hands of those who were not gentlemen. Other officers in the Confederate army were far more adept at playing the political games that Holmes ignored.
He was not a hypocrite either. He sacrificed all for the Confederate Cause. He led his men from the front, and at the Battle of Helena, Arkansas, his horse was killed as he exposed himself repeatedly to enemy fire. He also suffered from poor health, worsened by the rough conditions of field command. Further, his beloved son and namesake, Theophilus Hunter Holmes, Jr., a staff officer, was killed at the battle of Cold Harbor in 1864. Where some paid lip service to the Cause, Holmes gave all.
Second, Holmes was a devoted friend and loyal subordinate of Jefferson Davis. This friendship and his loyalty to Davis brought him the scorn of those who also hated President Davis. Along with Davis, he suffered constant unfair and unfounded criticism aided by post-war hindsight and legacy-making.
“During the immediate post-war period, when most of the popular history of the conflict was being written, Holmes became increasingly provoked by the Southern adoration heaped on Robert E. Lee and the criticism of Jefferson Davis. Holmes believed that Lee had been merely the instrument of Davis’ wartime genius…Holmes wrote Davis on November 29, 1870, only a month after Lee’s death. He urged Davis to rescue himself from ‘the 2nd place in the hearts of his countrymen.’ In speaking of Lee, Holmes told Davis, “What he was YOU made him…When away from you he FAILED. When near and subject to your supervision and authority he succeeded brilliantly.’ Holmes urged Davis to write a book about the Confederacy so the truth about ‘the Cause we loved and lost’ would be told.”
“He remained loayal to Jefferson Davis to the very end. Davis, like Holmes, had been blamed by many for the loss of the War. In 1879, Holmes wrote to Lucius Bellinger Northrup, former Commissary General of the Confederacy, ‘As for Jefferson Davis, I look upon him as the great sacrifice of the age, his and not Lee’s name should fill the hearts of the Southern people.’ In quoting parts of Holmes’ letter to Davis, Northrup affectionately referred to Holmes as the ‘old paladin.’”
Davis himself said of Holmes:
“I, who knew him from our school-boy days, who served with him in garrison and in the field, and with pride, watched him as he gallantly led a storming party up a rocky height at Monterrey, and was intimately acquainted with his whole character during our sectional war, bear a willing testimony to the purity, self-abegnation, generosity, fidelity, and gallantry, which characterized him as a man and a soldier…He has passed beyond the reach of censure or of praise.”
The cruelties of reconstruction North Carolina also conspired against General Holmes and his ability to make a living.
“Holmes requested his pardon in early June 1865. In putting his ‘situation’ in the best possible light, Holmes wrote that from early childhood he had been taught that his first allegiance was to North Carolina. He stated that he attended the United States Military Academy and served in the army for more than thirty years ‘without an unfavorable criticism.’ According to Holmes, just before the War started, he received a letter from Governor Ellis of North Carolina ‘claiming my services for my state. This, added to the fact of perfect unanimity among all those that I loved…induced me to resign my commission in the U.S. army and to take service with my state.’ Holmes said, ‘That I was faithful to the service thus accepted, is most certainly true,’ but he said that during the he had never committed ‘an act of cruelty’ nor any deed ‘by which I would be ashamed’…the notorious scalawag Governor Holden received 1,555 requests for pardon. He approved 1,451 and post-poned the decisions on another one hundred. He rejected only four, including Holmes’, on June 12, 1865.”
I would like to close by summing up the career and contributions of this man and what history has largely ignored.
“General Holmes’ most significant contribution to the Confederacy was as North Carolina’s Reserve General. Georgia, Virginia, South Carolina, and North Carolina sent significant numbers of Reserves to the field during the last year of the War. Holmes had mobilized approximately ten thousand North Carolina Junior and Senior Reserves. In so doing, he produced a higher percentage of Reserves from his state’s military population than the other Reserve generals produced in their states.
While reinforcing the army, Holmes maintained North Carolina’s wartime industry and agriculture with detailed workers. Under orders from the war department, he assumed commander of North Carolina’s sprawling conscription bureau and local defense forces. He commanded troops in the field for brief periods at Weldon and Wilmington. His administrative and organizational skills helped maintain North Carolina’s crucial role in the War. His analysis and solution of systemic problems evidence a clear mind and sharp intellect.
Like his counterparts in other Confederate states, Holmes’ service as a General of the Reserves went largely unnoticed after the War. The Confederacy’s conscription of young boys, old men, and African-Americans was a forlorn hope born of brutal necessity. It was not the stuff of glory.”
Let us follow by example and eschew the trappings of so-called glory and instead focus on the hard and inglorious work that must be done in order that the legacy of our ancestors may be secured.
N.C. SCV Division Chief of Staff Jake Sullivan
[*quoted material borrowed from “Theophilus Hunter Holmes: A North Carolina General in the Civil War” by Walter C. Hilderman, III]
Help us to preserve our history and heritage by making a donation to the memorials fund today.
While we are defending the many memorials in North Carolina, we are also working to establish more privately owned memorials on SCV controlled lands.
If you know of land for long term lease, sale, or donation suitable for Confederate statuary or flags please contact us with details.
Donations to the North Carolina Division Sons of Confederate Veterans are fully tax deductible.
If you wish to support our mission please consider a monetary donation to the N.C. SCV Memorials fund.
Donations to the North Carolina Division Sons of Confederate Veterans are fully tax deductible.
Many of you are familiar with the Lt. General Theophilus Hunter Holmes Memorial Cemetery and Mega-Flag site on I-95 South in Godwin, NC.
The N.C. SCV is working on a grand addition to the site in the form of a new standing figure of General Holmes.
The memorial will be a 10′ image of him in uniform in cast bronze on a granite base.
Lt. Gen. Holmes was born in Sampson County, NC on 13 November 1804.
You can be a part of helping erect this long overdue memorial to one of North Carolina’s many Confederate heroes by making a donation of any amount to the NC SCV Memorials fund via this website.
This will be one of many memorials to come. It is imperative that we continue to honor our heritage and families, especially in today’s environment of hatred, ignorance, and intolerance. One very effective way to do that is by putting up memorials across the state.
Make your donation today!
PLEASE ACT TO SAVE “SILENT SAM” – HERE IS HOW YOU CAN!
A message from Dr. Boyd D. Cathey
Compatriots and Friends,
As you may know, this past Monday, December 3, 2018, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Board of Trustees [BOT] (led by its chancellor, Carol Folt, and a whole slew of highly-paid university “administrators”—paid for by North Carolina taxpayers) issued what it termed its “Recommendation for the Disposition and Preservation of the Confederate Monument”—“Silent Sam”—and sent its report to the UNC system Board of Governors for their approval or rejection.
Here is, basically, what the BOT proposes: (1) to relocate Silent Sam to an “exhibition center” building at the far extreme of the campus, far out of view of most people; (2) that building–which hasn’t even been built yet–it would cost taxpayers $5.3 million, plus $800,000 per year maintenance (for curators and additional staff!)
The Board of Governors (BOG) of UNC will meet this coming Friday, December 14, at which time they will consider the BOT’s recommendation. They will either approve it, or reject it. And they can, if they reject it, demand and direct that Silent Sam be put back on its pedestal according to state law (the 2015 Monuments Protection Law).
However, if they should approve the Recommendation, the proposal would then go to the NC Historical Commission for a final say so. And if approved there, then the BOG would have to make a request to the NC legislature for the funding. In the meantime, Silent Sam would remain in storage, until at the earliest, 2022—that is four years from now!
Friends and compatriots! NOW IS THE TIME FOR YOU, YOUR WIVES AND FAMILY MEMBERS TO CONTACT THE UNC SYSTEM BOARD OF GOVERNORS, if you haven’t done so yet, and to RE-CONTACT THEM EVEN IF YOU HAVE ALREADY.
Here is the EMAIL address to reach all Board members:
You may address your message to Chairman Harry L. Smith, Jr. and the entire BOG. You should be precise and polite.
Here are some critical points that you may make in drafting your comments:
First, the “Recommendation” made by the Board of Trustees (BOT) to the Board of Governors is based on the consideration that the Confederate monument Silent Sam is threatened by demonstrators and mob violence. Thus to preserve the monument and maintain “public safety” the monument must be re-located.
FALSE: the 2015 Monuments Protection Law allows the relocation of a monument to preserve it only if it is suffering from internal physical problems, decay, etc. that is, natural causes, and NOT threats to it from a mob or demonstrators. The Monuments Law talks of “public safety” meaning that the monument, because of its physical condition, might endanger passers-by, NOT the threats to public safety that come from demonstrators. These are PUBLIC ORDER issues that must be handled by law enforcement, and cannot be used as reasons for permanent relocation.
Second, the BOT Recommendation petitions that Silent Sam be relocated to a university exhibition center, essentially what would be a museum, which would house what it calls “artifacts” of the university’s history. However, the 2015 Monuments Protection Law expressly PROHIBITS the relocation of a monument permanently to a museum or anything resembling a museum. Thus, the BOT Recommendation violates the laws of the state of North Carolina.
Finally, the Board of Governors members should be reminded that the University of North Carolina belongs to the citizens of this state, is paid for by the citizens of this state, and that the overwhelming majority of citizens, in every poll conducted on this issue, want the monument put back in its original location. And that we do not wish to fork out $5.3 million in additional tax money to, in effect, placate a small minority of violence-prone demonstrators, a mob composed of Marxist radicals.
Lastly, the board members should know that if this Recommendation is approved, there will be legal action and incredibly negative publicity which would, eventually, reflect on them, collectively and individually.
“Silent Sam” must be put back in its original location, with proper protective fencing, and the required police and law enforcement protection. That would be far less expensive than what the BOT proposes.
And students who flagrantly break the law—and professors who would join them in so doing—need to be expelled or terminated by the University. Then, let’s see how long those protests would continue.
When you write, please be concise and to the point. Please be respectful, give your name and address and, if you can, additional contact information. Let them know you are an interested citizen of North Carolina and that you are monitoring this process closely.
And, PLEASE, do not copy word-for-word what I’ve written above: use your own words, and maybe pick out some points to make.
BUT, PLEASE, I BEG YOU, ACT and ACT NOW. Although the Board of Governors is composed of Republican appointees, there is intense pressure being exerted by major Republican donors and “power brokers” to compromise and give in, essentially, to the mob.
NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT TO SAVE OUR MONUMENTS! Do so, or watch them disappear!
Thank you, and your ancestors AND your grandchildren thank you!
Dr. Boyd D. Cathey, Commander, Col. Henry Burgwyn Camp, SCV
We spend a lot of time talking about Yankees, antifa, liberals, and residents of the South who weren’t born here. But, are these groups really our biggest enemies? What of Southern-born folks, many of whom have Confederate ancestors, who turn their backs on their own heritage and family history? The Enemy Within may very well be our greatest foe.
Sadly, our school systems, our historical societies, our heritage groups, our churches, and our own families have fallen short way too often in keeping the truth of our history alive. We sat back in complacency while only the Union viewpoint was taught in our classrooms and while songs like “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” played in our churches. We created a void in many areas that liberals filled with propaganda and lies, paving the way for the environment we are currently living in.
Recently, in Salisbury, North Carolina, some members of St. John’s Lutheran congregation called for removal of a memorial called Fame. The statue depicts an angel holding a dying Confederate soldier. The fact that a memorial to our past family members who died defending their homes is now deemed offensive, even by people who were raised in our communities, is a testament to how desperately we need to educate against the lies and indoctrination.
Saving and caring for our memorials, as well as working to erect more, is crucial. Continuing to be proactive, speak up, engage others and share the truth is the least we can do to defend the honor of our grandfathers, uncles and cousins who fought so valiantly. It’s not just about ancestors, it’s about family. It’s not just about history, it’s about legacy. It’s not just about our past, it’s about our future.
Consider donating today so the NC Division of the SCV can continue to work to preserve Confederate heritage.
This is the last public meeting of the Durham City-County Committee on Confederate Monuments and Memorials.
The speaker is Scott Holmes, the attorney that represented the self described communists in their charges for the toppling of the veterans memorial in Durham.
Ten members of the public are allowed to speak for three minutes each. This is your last chance to speak and we need supporters to show up.
This Thursday Oct. 11th at 7 PM – 8:30 PM
City Council Chambers @ City Hall
101 City Hall Plz, Durham, North Carolina 27701
Can’t make the meeting? Send your comments to DurhamConfederateMonuments@protonmail.com
This new Soldiers Memorials bumper sticker is available for a limited time to those who donate $5 or more to the NC SCV Memorials Fund, via NCSCVMemorials.com!
The next meeting of the Durham City-County Committee on Confederate Monuments and Memorials is September 5th in Rougemont.
This is believed to be another Community Engagement style meeting. Do not come prepared to speak. Come prepared to answer the questions in this survey:
If you are unable to attend. Please fill out the survey online. We thank you for supporting our veterans, our heritage, and American history.
Wednesday, September 5th, 7 PM – 8:30 PM
Rougemont Ruritan Club ( 212 Bacon Rd, Rougemont, NC 27572 )
The Guest Speaker Will be:
Elizabeth Shulman, Archivist, North Carolina Collection of the Durham Public Library
Durham County filed a “Report Only” claim for the destruction of the Durham County Confederate Veterans Memorial, but did not pursue the claim.
Durham County appears to have 1 million in insurance covering the Durham County memorial. Freeing the tax payers of any burden.
The memorial was not removed by legal means and is protected by N.C. Law. The County is obligated to restore the memorial as quickly as possible. Rewarding mob rule for more than a year is an outrage that leads to anarchy, as we have seen in Chapel Hill.
Restore the Rule of Law and Restore the Memorials NOW!
Durham County Commissioners
200 East Main Street, Durham, NC 27701
or call the Clerk to the Board’s office at (919) 560-0025, FAX: (919) 560-0013, between the hours of 8:30 AM-5:00 PM.
Write your representatives:
Give to the N.C. Division SCV Defense Fund and N.C. Division SCV Memorial Fund Today!
By now, most of you are well aware that Silent Sam was vandalized on the UNC campus. In the past few weeks, memorials have been vandalized in Richmond, Va and Charleston, SC as well as Salisbury, NC.
Elected officials and authorities should be upholding the law rather than issuing stand down orders which make them complicit in these crimes. We should be calling and emailing our local council members, mayors, and our state legislators to express our disapproval in the handling of these events. The law is clear. Veteran’s memorials are protected by state law. There should be no discussion on “what to do with Confederate statues” by specially formed and appointed committees. The only lawful conclusion must be to leave the monuments in place. Otherwise, the committees are advocating the circumvention of law.
We have seen that politicians, law enforcement and the courts will not always conduct themselves honorably. Sadly, justice isn’t always served. When there are little or no consequences for criminal action, it only emboldens the violent socialist organizations. They start to feel invincible when they are not held accountable for their actions.
But, OUR actions CAN make a difference. Besides contacting your officials, you can support the NC Division of the SCV in restoring memorials, like the one in Durham, as well as erecting new ones. Antifa tears down, but we continue to build up. Please, join the efforts by donating today.
To some, they may be only statues. To us, they are memorials to our family members; brave men who risked their lives and gave their lives in defense of their homes. The agenda of the militant left is not just to eradicate Confederate history. The goal is to destroy our legacy of Judeo-Christian principles, love of liberty, and strong sense of community, thereby ripping apart the very fabric of our nation. Ignorance, propaganda and lies have permeated our society and we must fight back. Making a donation today to the Memorial Fund is a great place to start.