According to the 17 AUG 1894 depositions of his slave wife Nelly White Holmes and her brother Cyrus White, Cornelius Holmes was a slave owned by Sandy Irby when he married Nelly White, according to slave custom. He was later acquired by her owner William M. Harrison. Holmes left with McClellan’s army in 1862 and enlisted in the U.S. Navy serving on the Brandywine. Following his discharge from the Navy Holmes settled in Norfolk where he lawfully married a woman named Emma who successfully claimed his widow’s pension. U.S. Navy Widow’s #50749