Graham N. Fitch

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Graham Newell Fitch
United States Senator
from Indiana
In office
February 4, 1857 – March 3, 1861
Preceded byJohn Pettit
Succeeded byHenry S. Lane
Member of the U. S. House of Representatives from Indiana's 9th district
In office
March 4, 1849 – March 3, 1853
Preceded byCharles W. Cathcart
Succeeded byNorman Eddy
Member of the Indiana House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born(1809-12-05)December 5, 1809
Le Roy, New York
DiedNovember 29, 1892(1892-11-29) (aged 82)
Logansport, Indiana
Political partyDemocratic

Graham Newell Fitch (December 5, 1809 – November 29, 1892) was a United States representative and senator from Indiana, as well as a brigade commander in the Union Army during the American Civil War.

Early life and career

Born in Le Roy, New York, he attended Middlebury Academy and Geneva College. He studied medicine and completed his medical course at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, and commenced practice in Logansport, Indiana, in 1834. He was a member of the Indiana House of Representatives in 1836 and 1839 and was a professor of anatomy at the Rush Medical College in Chicago from 1844 to 1848, and at the Indianapolis Medical College in 1878.

Fitch was elected as a Democrat to the Thirty-first and Thirty-second congresses, from March 4, 1849, to March 3, 1853. He was not a candidate for renomination in 1852 and resumed the practice of medicine. He was elected to the U.S. Senate to fill a vacancy in the term beginning March 4, 1855, and sat from February 4, 1857, to March 3, 1861. He was not a candidate for reelection in 1860. While in the Senate, he was chairman of the Committee on Printing (Thirty-fifth and Thirty-sixth Congresses).

Civil War service

After the Civil War erupted and President Abraham Lincoln called for 100,000 volunteers to put down the rebellion, Fitch raised the 46th Indiana Infantry. He was its colonel before being promoted to command of a brigade.

During the battles of New Madrid and Island Number Ten, Fitch commanded the 2nd Brigade of Brigadier General John M. Palmer's infantry division. He also participated in the capture of Fort Pillow and Memphis. Fitch later commanded the Union infantry forces at Saint Charles in Arkansas.

In late 1862, he resigned his commission because of injuries received in action.

Postbellum career

Fitch returned home and resumed the practice of medicine in Logansport. He died there in 1892 and was buried in Mount Hope Cemetery.

Edwin Denby, Fitch's grandson, was a U.S. representative from Michigan and Secretary of the Navy.


  • United States Congress. "Graham N. Fitch (id: F000158)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved on 2008-11-05
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by U.S. Representative, Indiana 9th district
Succeeded by
U.S. Senate
Preceded by U.S. senator (Class 3) from Indiana
Served alongside: Jesse D. Bright
Succeeded by