Civil War Blog

A project of PA Historian

Portrait Found of Rev. James A. Stokes

Posted By on February 9, 2015


Rev. James A. Stokes (1841-1923)

Rev. James A. Stokes was previously profiled here on this blog on 17 September 2014 in a post entitled, Rev. James A. Stokes – African American with the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry?  Additional information has been located about him, including a picture, in the Harrisburg Telegraph of 10 February 1916.

On the occasion of his 75th birthday, the Telegraph wrote:


This is the seventy-fifth birth anniversary of the Rev. James Stokes, 641 Briggs Street, [Harrisburg], formerly a slave, a Civil War veteran, and a retired pastor of the A. M. E. Zion Church.

The Rev. Mr. Stokes was born in Warren County, Kentucky, 10 February 1841, and was a slave for a number of years.  He escaped and on 10 June 1862 joined the Ninth Regiment Pennsylvania Cavalry [9th Pennsylvania Cavalry] at Bowling Green, Kentucky.  He cooked for the regiment for two years, and when they re-enlisted, he came to Harrisburg with them in 1864.  He next enlisted in Company I, Forty-fifth Regiment of United States Colored Infantry [45th U.S. Colored Troops], 18 July 1864, and served sixteen months.  He was mustered out at Brownsville, Texas, in November 1865, then returning to this city.

The soldier preacher has resided here ever since.  For more than twenty-five years he was a minister in the A. M. E. Zion Church, and was instrumental in the erection of the churches of this denomination at Mechanicsburg and Newville.  For ten years he had charge of a local express, but retired some time ago because of his advanced age.  He is residing with his daughter at 641 Briggs Street.


February is Black History Month.  This post on James A. Stokes is about the role of one of many African Americans in the Civil War.


One Response to “Portrait Found of Rev. James A. Stokes”

  1. Lawrence S Stokes says:

    Dear Mr. Gasbarro, What a pleasant surprise, to find from you, all this information on my Great Grandfather James A Stokes. I have lived most of my life in the northest connor of Massachusetts, only 25 miles from where the family moved after James A passed away. Salem MA. I only recently at the age of 78 started researching my family and now 2 years later, realize what a job I have taken on. Thank you for your input.

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