|4th Confederate States Secretary of War|
November 21, 1862 – February 5, 1865
|Preceded by||George Randolph|
|Succeeded by||John Breckinridge|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from Virginia's 6th district
March 4, 1849 – March 3, 1851
|Preceded by||John Botts|
|Succeeded by||John Caskie|
March 4, 1845 – March 3, 1847
|Preceded by||John Jones|
|Succeeded by||John Botts|
James Alexander Seddon
July 13, 1815
|Died||August 19, 1880 (aged 65)|
Goochland County, Virginia
|Alma mater||University of Virginia|
James Alexander Seddon (July 13, 1815 – August 19, 1880) was an American lawyer and politician who served two terms as a Representative in the United States Congress, as a member of the Democratic Party. Seddon was appointed Confederate States Secretary of War by Jefferson Davis during the American Civil War.
Due to frail health, Seddon was educated primarily at home and became self-taught as a youth. At the age of twenty-one, he entered the law school of the University of Virginia. After graduation, Seddon settled in Richmond, Virginia, establishing a successful law practice.
In 1845, the Democratic Party nominated Seddon for Congress, and he was easily elected. He was renominated two years later but declined due to platform differences with the party. In 1849, Seddon was reelected to Congress, serving from December 1849 until March 1851. Owing to poor health, he declined another nomination at the end of his term. He retired to "Sabot Hill," his plantation located along the James River above Richmond.
Seddon attended the Peace Conference of 1861 held in Washington, D.C., which attempted to devise a means of preventing the impending civil war. Later in the same year, he attended the Provisional Congress of the Confederate States. President Davis named him his fourth Secretary of War, succeeding George W. Randolph. He held this post until January 1, 1865, when he retired from public life to his plantation and was succeeded by John C. Breckinridge. His service of more than twenty-four months as Secretary made him the most durable of the five secretaries.
- 1845; Seddon was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives with 52.28% of the vote, defeating Whig John Minor Botts.
- 1849; Seddon was reelected with 53.64% of the vote, defeating Whig challenger Botts.
- United States Congress. "James Seddon (id: S000220)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
- "James Seddon". Find a Grave. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
- James Seddon biography at Spartacus Educational
- James Seddon biography at the Confederate States War Department