John E. Bennett was born in Rutherford County, the son of Thomas and Elizabeth Bennett. He married Elizabeth Cook (daughter of Green and Loran Nixon Cook) on February 14, 1845 and worked as a livestock trader. He moved to Bedford County during the 1850's.
In April of 1861 John E. enlisted in Turney's 1st Tennessee Infantry Regiment. According to "The Confederate Veteran" Vol 25 Issue 4, the 1st Tennessee Infantry regiment came together at Winchester, Tennessee on April 27, 1861 and boarded railroad cars for Virginia that very evening. The cars were not "Pullman palaces" but rather box cars designed for livestock. The regiment went through Chattanooga at dawn and worked their way through East Tennessee, stopping in Morristown where they saw future President Andrew Johnson giving a speech. They reached Lynchburg, VA on the 1st of May, 1861. By July they were engaged in the Battle of First Manassas.
John E. Bennett was elected to be Captain of Company B, the "Tullahoma Guards". Company B formed the left flank of the regiment. He resigned his commission before the end of the war for unknown reasons.
John's son, John Parsley Bennett, was born December 23 1847, and he enlisted with his father at the age of 13. John Parsley fought at the Battle of First Mannassas in July of 1861, and was discharged from the army in 1862 when his young age was discovered.
John E. worked as a livestock trader after the war in Coffee County, and died there.