James Monroe Bankhead (1783 - 1856) a U. S. Army officer in the War of 1812, Second Seminole War, and Mexican American War, who rose to the rank of brevet brigadier general.
James Monroe Bankhead was born on May 24, 1783 in Port Royal, in Caroline County, Virginia.
Bankhead joined the U. S. Army in 1808, as a captain in the 5th Infantry Regiment. Bankhead and Winfield Scott entered the army on the same day and they remained lifelong friends. Before the War of 1812, Bankhead served in various commands and staff assignments. During the war he was promoted to major. Later he was on the staff of General Wade Hampton, and received a brevet promotion to lieutenant colonel. He attained the rank of lieutenant colonel of the 3rd Artillery Regiment, on April 26, 1832.
He saw active service during the Second Seminole War and received a brevet promotion to colonel in 1838 to recognize his bravery.
Col. James M. Bankhead was in command of the garrison of the Buffalo Barracks from Oct. 1838 to Aug. 1841.
Bankhead served in the Mexican–American War, at Vera Cruz commanding the 2nd Artillery Regiment and was promoted to brevet Brigadier General for distinguished service in the reduction of Vera Cruz where Bankhead, the senior field officer, acted as chief of artillery, in command of the batteries. From January 1848 he commanded the Department of Orizaba, Mexico.
Bankhead was appointed commander of the Department of the East in 1854, and made his headquarters at Ft. McHenry, where he served until his death. He died and was buried, in Green Mount Cemetery, Baltimore, Maryland on November 11, 1856.