John McIntosh Kell (1823-1900) was a celebrated naval officer, born near Darien, Georgia. In 1841 he began his naval career when he enrolled in the Navy School (later the United States Naval Academy). He graduated in 1848 and was commissioned as a midshipman. In 1861, with the outbreak of the Civil War, Kell resigned from the U. S. Navy and was appointed a commander in the Georgia Navy. He became a first lieutenant aboard the CSS Sumter. Kell also served in the same capacity on the CSS Alabama. The Alabama had great success and became something of a legend before it was sunk in 1864 in an encounter with the USS Kearsarge off the coast of France, but eventually Kell was rescued.