Daniel E. Sutherland, "Holmes, Theophilus Hunter," American National Biography Online, February 2000, http://www.anb.org/articles/05/05-00357.html.
Holmes was devoted to saving Arkansas, even refusing [President Jefferson Davis'] request to send a portion of his troops to reinforce Vicksburg. He praised Arkansans as "true and loyal" and his troops as "noble men," but civilians and soldiers alike lost confidence in him. The Federals advanced steadily into the state and laid waste to northern Arkansas. Holmes admitted that he was unequal to his task as early as October 1862. Davis finally responded to public pressure by replacing him as department commander with General Edmund Kirby Smith in March 1863 and reassigning Holmes to command the District of Arkansas, which also included Indian Territory and Missouri. In this post, too, Holmes proved unsuccessful, most tragically when his outnumbered army failed to take strongly held Federal positions at Helena in July 1863. When Kirby Smith and several leading Arkansas politicians petitioned to have Holmes removed from Arkansas altogether, Holmes resigned in March 1864. In April Davis reassigned Holmes to command reserve troops in his native North Carolina. He served in this largely administrative post until April 1865.