1st Sergeant Daniel Lafayette Kenan was born at Kenansville, Duplin County, North Carolina on March 25th, 1825. His family moved from there to Quincy, Gadsden County, Florida in 1831. His father died in 1840 when he was still a minor. He married Martha Ann Gregory of Quincy, Florida on February 26th, 1851 at Quincy.
He was a carriage maker; he also became wealthy by an inheritance of 75 acres of land and 30 slaves from his Aunt, Jane Hall, in 1858. He served in the Florida House of the State Legislature in 1850 until 1859. In 1860 he, along with wife Martha and 6 children, was living at Quincy, Gadsden County, Florida. He was a mechanic by profession, owning real estate in the value of $3,000, and a personal worth of $25,000.
Kenan was enlisted into Confederate service on March 12th, 1862 at Quincy, Gadsden County, Florida and appointed as 1st Sergeant. He was stationed at Rico’s Bluff and was with the company until about April 15th, when elections of field and staff officers for the 6th Florida Infantry Regiment were held. 1st Sergeant Kenan was elected to Major of the regiment. With his commission becoming official on April 18th; Major Kenan would be replaced by 2nd Sergeant Edward B. White as the company’s 1st Sergeant.
_January, 1863 “Our Major is a fine man, the rest are not fit to tote guts to a bear…The first and seventh regiment is in the same fix that the sixth regiment is, their field officers are of no account.” 1st Lieutenant James Hays, Company D, 6th Florida Infantry Regiment. _
On November 12th, 1863 General Braxton Bragg ordered all Florida infantry regiments were brigaded. Colonel Jesse J. Finley commanding the 6th Regiment would be elevated to command the Florida Brigade with the rank of Brigadier General. Lieutenant Colonel Angus D. McLean would be promoted to Colonel and succeeded him in command of the 6th Florida. Major Kenan was elevated to Lieutenant Colonel on November 16th, 1863.
When Colonel McLean was killed at Dallas, Georgia on May 28th, 1864, Lieutenant Colonel Kenan immediately assumed command of the 6th Florida, and would twice command the Florida Brigade temporarily in General Finley’s stead. The second instance occurred at the Battle of Jonesboro, Georgia on August 31st, 1864, where he stepped up after General Finley was wounded in the thick of battle, only to be wounded himself with the loss of two fingers of his left hand to a minié ball.
He would suffer a serious wound to his right leg at the Battle of Bentonville, North Carolina on March 19th, 1865. He was admitted to C.S.A. General Hospital No. 3, Greensboro, North Carolina in early April, then transferred to C.S.A. General Hospital No. 11, Charlotte, North Carolina. His right leg was amputated on April 28th, 1865; after recovering, he was paroled on May 7th, 1865.
Martha Ann died on June 1st, 1871; he remarried to Virginia Douglas Nathans at Quincy, Gadsden County, Florida on October 10th, 1872.
Colonel Kenan was impoverished as a result of the war; the majority of his antebellum wealth was in slaves. He never fully recovered from his wounds, and died at age 58 on February 12th, 1884. He was interred with Masonic honors in an unmarked grave at Western Cemetery, Quincy, Gadsden County, Florida.