Posted by on Mar 8, 2015 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments

John Amenas Fite,1832-1925

John Amenas Fite,1832-1925

Typical of his ironic sense of humor, John Amenas Fite subtitled his memoir a “Short and Uninteresting History of a Small and Unimportant Man.” His life was not short and in fact it was tremendously interesting. The highlights alone will pique the interest of anyone who loves history, especially the military and cultural history of the American Civil War.

Col. Fite was born in Alexandria, Tennessee, a small farming town about fifty miles from Nashville. The Fites were hardworking, prosperous farmers, settled on farms all around Middle Tennessee. They grew their farms into plantations, owning slaves and livestock and horses, and already by the time John Amenas came along as the ninth of eleven children born to Jacob and Matilda Beard Fite, his father could afford to send him and his brothers to the best schools the still-wild country had to offer.

Young John Amenas was just embarking on a career as a lawyer when the Civil War broke out. He joined the Seventh Tennessee Infantry, which was subsequently attached to Gen. Lee’s Army of Virginia. He rose through the ranks alternately by election, merit, and the dying off of superiors such that he was a full Colonel by the time his regiment arrived at Gettysburg. He had suffered gunshot wounds and had been hit by a cannonball. At Gettysburg he was in Pickett’s Charge and was captured at the stone wall, serving most of the remainder of war time in the infamous Johnson’s Island Federal prison camp, where he lost over a hundred pounds, before being exchanged shortly before the South’s surrender.

After the war, Col. Fite returned to marry Mary Micheaux Mitchell and to settle in Carthage, Tennessee, where he resumed his law practice, was elected to the state legislature, and was for many years a judge and from all accounts, quite a character up to the end.

Many compelling artifacts remain of Col. Fite’s remarkable life. Sharing them with posterity is the purpose of this web site.

CLICK HERE to order Col. Fite’s Memories from SouthStar Supply Co.

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