2nd Lt. Conner was posted at Ft. Steilacoom beginning in August 31, 1858, as officer in the 4th Infantry. A native of New Hampshire and a veteran of brief service in Texas with the 5th Infantry Regiment, Conner took an immediate liking to Lt. Col. Casey’s second daughter, Bessie.
According to the diary entries of August Kautz, Conner enjoyed several excursions in the company of Bessie Casey while stationed at the post. In November 1860, Lt. Conner was transferred to Ft. Chehalis; this seems to have ended his pursuit of Ms. Casey.
On the eve of the American Civil War, Conner secured promotion to 1st Lt. in May 1861. He later saw combat service in the Civil War as a captain in the 17th Infantry Regiment.
Edward J. Conner