James E. Bailey (August 15, 1822 - December 29, 1885 was a Democratic United States Senator from Tennessee from 1877 to 1881.
Bailey was born in Montgomery County, Tennessee. He attended the Clarksville Academy and the former University of Nashville. He then studied law and was admitted to the bar in 1843, starting a practice in Clarksville, Tennessee. In 1853 he was elected to the Tennessee House of Representatives as a Whig.
During the Civil War he served in the 49th Tennessee as a colonel. He was appointed by governor of Tennessee John C. Brown to the Court of Arbitration in 1874. He was elected by the Tennessee General Assembly as a Democrat to the balance of the unexpired term of the late Andrew Johnson, serving from January 19, 1877 to March 3, 1881. In the 46th Congress he was chairman of the Senate Committee on Education and Labor. His efforts to effect his reelection were unsuccessful, and upon the expiry of his term he returned to the practice of law in Clarksville. He died in Clarksville and is buried in that city's Greenwood Cemetery.
This article incorporates facts obtained from the public domain Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.