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 railroad executive.

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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