Thomas McDonnell was prominent in Tītokowaru’s 1868-69 campaign. He attacked Tītokowaru’s stronghold in Te Ngutu-o-te-Manu three times without success and blamed his subordinates for his defeat. McDonnell was then replaced by his rival George Whitmore. In anger, he wrote recriminatory letters to the Government, for which he was dismissed on 14 October 1868. In December he apologised to the government and returned to the war against Tītokowaru, this time as a subordinate to Whitmore. But success was not to be. He suffered yet another defeat in February 1868 and McDonnell resigned on 18 February 1869.