Skip to main content

Samuel Darwin McConnell Papers

Identifier: MS 281

Scope and Content

This collection encompasses the correspondence of Samuel D. McConnell, as well as other relatives of the McConnell family. The bulk of the collection features letters written to his fiancé and later wife, Mary Eloise Brumby, in which he describes being admitted to the Ocala bar, his work at the East Florida Seminary, and his thoughts on the political happenings of the time. Though his regiment saw action at Chickamauga and Chattanooga, this collection does not contain any of his letters pertaining to these battles.

In his early letters, McConnell writes about his thoughts on secession, the election of President Lincoln, his feelings on serving in the Confederate Army, and his regiment's movements in the early stages of his enlistment. Towards the end of the war, while stationed in Georgia and Alabama, he discusses the Confederate Army's retreat from Atlanta, the prospect of peace if McClellan wins election as president of the United States, and the army's attempt to regain momentum against Union forces. Other letters discuss routine subjects. The letters from McConnell to his wife Mary span from October 5, 1859 to January 23, 1876. Overall, McConnell's correspondence reflects his thoughts on the war more than his military actions.

The collection also includes correspondence between R. T. Brumby and other members of the McConnell/Brumby family, letters among family members, some correspondence with the War Department.


  • 1858-1916
  • Majority of material found within 1859-1876



The collection is open for research.

Biographical/Historical Note

Samuel Darwin McConnell was an attorney and military captain during the Civil War in Florida. Born on January 14, 1834 in Liberty County, Georgia, McConnell attended school in Walthourville, Georgia, studied law, and was admitted to the Ocala Bar in November of 1860. After passing the bar, McConnell also served as an instructor at the East Florida Seminary in Ocala. Prior to the start of the Civil War, McConnell wrote the petition from Marion County asking for the secession of Florida from the Union. On August 27, 1861, McConnell married Mary Eloise Brumby, daughter of R. T. Brumby.

On March 12, 1862, McConnell enlisted in the 7th Florida Infantry, and was appointed captain of Company G. His unit, formed at Gainesville, was sent with the regiment to Chattanooga and then to east Tennessee. There, the regiment saw action at the Battles of Chattanooga and Chickamauga in 1863. In 1864, McConnell was seriously wounded and was forced to use crutches for the rest of his life. He later returned to practicing law and moved to Atlanta, Georgia in 1871. In 1880, he returned to Ocala where he served as the first Mayor of Ocala until his death on June 6, 1885.


0.5 Linear feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



Correspondence of Samuel D. McConnell before, during, and after the Civil War, as well as other documents relating to S. D. McConnell.

Physical Location

University of Florida Smathers Library Building

Alternate Form of Material

Items in this collection have been digitized and are available via the University of Florida Digital Collections (UFDC) as part of the Pioneer Days in Florida project, which is generously supported by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). Please read the Permissions for Use statement for information on copyright, fair use, and use of UFDC digital objects.

Related Material

For digital versions of Civil War letters held by the University of Florida, see "Florida and the Civil War" at
A Guide to the Samuel Darwin McConnell Papers
Finding aid created by Connor Wynn
April 2011
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Description is written in English.
Digitization funded with the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America