William Brickly Stokes

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William Brickly Stokes (September 9, 1814 – March 14, 1897) was an American politician and a member of the United States House of Representatives from Tennessee. He also served as colonel of the 5th Regiment Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry during the American Civil War.

William Brickly Stokes
William Brickly Stokes - Brady-Handy.jpg
William Brickly Stokes
Born(1814-09-09)September 9, 1814
Chatham County, North Carolina
DiedMarch 14, 1897(1897-03-14) (aged 82)
Alexandria, Tennessee
Place of burial
Eastview Cemetery, Alexandria, Tennessee
AllegianceUnited States of America
Service/branchUnited States Army
Union Army
Years of service1862–1865
RankUnion Army colonel rank insignia.png Colonel
Union Army brigadier general rank insignia.svg Brevet Brigadier General
Commands held5th Tennessee Cavalry Regiment
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War


He was born on September 9, 1814 in Chatham County, North Carolina. He attended the common schools, moved with his family to Temperance Hall, Tennessee, and engaged in agricultural pursuits. He was a member of the Tennessee House of Representatives from 1849 to 1852. He served in the Tennessee Senate in 1855 and 1856. Stokes owned between seven and ten enslaved people in Tennessee.[1]

Stokes was elected as a member of the Opposition Party to the Thirty-sixth Congress by Tennessee's 4th congressional district, serving from March 4, 1859 to March 4, 1861. He entered the Union Army on May 15, 1862 as a major of the Tennessee Volunteers. He served as colonel of the 5th Regiment Tennessee Volunteer Cavalry until he resigned on March 10, 1865.[2] He briefly served in temporary brigade command in the Army of the Ohio between June 17, 1863 and August 6, 1863.[2] On December 24, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Stokes for the award of the honorary grade of brevet brigadier general to rank from March 13, 1865.[3] The U.S. Senate confirmed the award on February 21, 1867.[3] He studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1867, and commenced practice in Alexandria, Tennessee in DeKalb County, Tennessee.

Upon the readmission of Tennessee to representation, he was elected as an Unconditional Unionist to the Thirty-ninth Congress by Tennessee's 3rd congressional district. He was re-elected as a Republican to the Fortieth and Forty-first Congresses. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from July 24, 1866 to March 4, 1871.[2] He was an unsuccessful candidate for re-election in 1870 to the Forty-second Congress. He also was the supervisor of internal revenue for Tennessee. He resumed the practice of law and died in Alexandria, Tennessee on March 14, 1897. He was interred in East View Cemetery at Alexandria.


  1. ^ Lehman, Christopher P. (2019). Slavery's reach : Southern slaveholders in the North Star State. Saint Paul, MN: Minnesota Historical Society Press. p. 120. ISBN 9781681341354.
  2. ^ a b c Eicher, John H., and David J. Eicher. Civil War High Commands. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3. p. 413
  3. ^ a b Eicher, 2001, p. 758

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Party political offices
First Radical Republican nominee for Governor of Tennessee
Succeeded by
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 4th congressional district

March 4, 1859 - March 3, 1861
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Tennessee's 3rd congressional district

July 24, 1866 - March 3, 1871
Succeeded by