A Civil War Biography
James Hughes Stokes
Stokes was born according to most sources in June 1815. There is
some doubt about his place of birth. Some sources claim he was born
in Hagerstown, Maryland. One source lists his date of birth as 11
July 1816 and the place as Havre de Grace, Maryland. He was
appointed to West Point on 1 July 1831 and graduated 17th in the
class of 1835 just ahead of Montgomery Blair, 18th, and George G.
Meade 19th. Stokes was assigned to the artillery and fought the
Creeks and the Seminoles. He was then assigned quartermaster duty.
He resigned from the army in 1843 and became a businessman and
When the war began Stokes was in St Louis, Missouri and reentered
the military as a captain under the command of Nathaniel Lyon. In
the spring of 1861 there was growing concern that the armaments in
the US Arsenal at St Louis would be seized by the city's
secessionists. Lyon arranged to have the surplus moved to Illinois.
Stokes was in charge of the operation, transferring 20,000 muskets
and much powder to Alton, Illinois. In 1862 he recruited the Chicago
Board of Trade Battery and became its captain. He saw action at
Perryville, Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, and Missionary Ridge. He was
then assigned as a lieutenant colonel in the Quartermaster's
Department and as an assistant adjutant general. He was appointed
brigadier general of volunteers in July 1865 and mustered out of the
service shortly after that.
Following the war Stokes became involved in the real estate
business. He died 27 December 1890 in New York City.
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