Samuel R. Holmes was born in 1839 in Chatham, England.
Samuel immigrated to America sometime before the war broke out and eventually settled in western Michigan.
He stood 5’10” with blue eyes, dark hair and a fair complexion and was a 22-year-old sailor possibly living in Muskegon County when he enlisted in Company H on May 13, 1861. (Company H, formerly the “Muskegon Rangers,” was made up largely of men from the vicinity of Muskegon and Newaygo counties.) He was reported working as a teamster from July of 1862 through September, and hospitalized with chronic diarrhea from November of 1862 through February of 1863, probably in Baltimore, Maryland.
On January 5, 1863, an unknown individual in Jersey City, New Jersey, wrote to General R. Schenck, commanding the troops in Baltimore, saying that his “Pastor, the Rev. W. Holmes” was “ill and anxious to have his brother [Samuel], wounded and in the hospital at Baltimore, removed if possible so as to receive the affectionate care of his relatives,” and asked Schenck if that would be possible. The matter was referred through the medical authorities, and Holmes was discharged for chronic diarrhea on March 11, 1863, at West’s Buildings hospital, Baltimore, Maryland.
It is not known if Holmes ever returned to Michigan after he was discharged from the army. By 1890 he was living in Aberdeen, Collingsworth County, Texas, where he was drawing a pension (no. 1032674) the following year. He may have been residing in Bronson, Branch County (Michigan) in 1894.
He was married to Nancy A. (b. 1844).
Samuel died on November 21, 1928, in Fargo, Woodward County, Oklahoma and was buried in Fargo City cemetery.