Patrick Connor was born in County Kerry, Ireland, on 27th March, 1820. He emigrated to the United States in 1839 and soon after arriving he enlisted in the army and served in the wars against the Seminoles.
Connor left the army in 1844 and moved to Texas. During the Mexican War Connor joined the Texas Volunteers and took part in several major engagements. He reached the rank of captain but left in February 1847 after he was wounded. He now moved to California and worked in mining and surveying.
In September, 1861, Connor became colonel of the 3rd California Infantry and became commander of the military district of Utah and Nevada. The 3rd California Infantry's primary duty was to protect the Overland Mail between Fort Churchill, Nevada, and South Pass, Wyoming, from Indian attack.
Connor established Camp Douglas and with his 700 men suppressed revolts by local Shoshoni. In 1865 Frank North and his Pawnee Scouts accompanied Brigadier General Connor on his North Plains expedition from Julesburg to the Tongue River. On 23rd August the Pawnees fought against a Sioux and Cheyenne war party and killed 34 warriors. Later that month the scouts directed Connor and his men to an Arapaho village and was able to capture 750 horses and mules.
Connor later reported that during this period he claimed to have killed 224 Native Americans and captured 175 horses. Mormons complained about the activities of Connor claiming that he took measures to reduce church influence by exploring and developing the territory's mineral wealth.
At the end of the American Civil War Connor left the army. He settled in Salt Lake City and continued his attacks on Brigham Young and the Mormons. In 1870 he joined with others to establish the Utah Liberal Party and took on the Mormon People's Party in local elections.
Patrick Connor died on December 17, 1891, and was buried at Fort Douglas.