Williams, James Monroe was born on September 12, 1833 in Lowville, New York, United States. Son of Absalom and Fannie Williams.
Moved to Wisconsin, 1844. Educational public schools, New York, Wisconsin, and academic, Janesville, Wisconsin. Read law Janesville, 1853-1856.
Admitted to bar, Janesville, Wisconsin, 1856. Practiced law at Leavenworth, Kansas Captain 5th Kansas Cavalry, United States.V., July 1861, to September 1862. Lieutenant colonel and colonel 1st Kansas (afterwards 79th United States) Colored Troops, September 1862, to May 1864.
Received 4 gun-shot wounds in engagement with Confederates at Elk Creek, Indiana Ty., July 17, 1863. Commanded brigade May 1864, until October 1865. Brevetted brigadier general United States.V.
Appointed captain 8th United States cavalry (bvtd. major for conspicuous gallantry in engagements with Indians, 1867, on the Verde, in Yampa Valley, and near Music Mountain, Arizona). Seriously wounded in latter action. In hospital and on nominal duty 2 years.
Returned to regiment, but resigned, 1871. Retired as captain cavalry by special act of Congress, January 1, 1891. Home: Washington, Distric.