James Grant Wilson and John Fiske, eds., "Edwards, John," Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography (New York: D. Appleton and Company, 1900), 2: 306.
EDWARDS, John, lawyer, b. in Jefferson county, Ky., 24 Oct., 1815. He received a common-school education, studied law, and entered upon the practice of his profession. He was a member of the legislature of Indiana from 1845 till 1849, when he emigrated to California, and was at once made alcalde. He returned to Indiana in 1852, and was in the same year elected to the state senate. He removed subsequently to Iowa, was chosen a member of the State constitutional convention in 1855. and was in the legislature from 1856 till 1860. serving the last two years as speaker of the house. On 21 May, 1861, he was appointed lieutenant-colonel and aide-de-camp on the governor's staff. He organized and commanded state troops until May, 1862, when he became colonel of the 18th Iowa infantry. On 26 Sept., 1864, he was promoted to be brigadier-general of volunteers, and was mustered out of the service, 15 Jan.. 1866. After the close of the war he settled at Fort Smith, Ark., and was appointed U.S. assessor, 6 Aug., 1866. He was also elected a member of the 42d congress as a liberal Republican, but his election was successfully contested by Thomas Boles, who took his seat, 9 Feb., 1872.