Camp meetings are held on the third Monday of each month at the Pig BBQ in Callahan at 7:00 PM. Please call 904-879-4514 for more information.
General Joseph Finegan SCV Camp # 745

James H. Lear

James H. (Jim) Lear
10.23.1932 - 6.17.2011
Camp Commander 2003 - 2009

General Stephen D. Lee, 1862

The mission of the SCV is best said with the Charge to the Sons of Confederate Veterans given by Lt. General Stephen Dill Lee, CSA, Commander General, United Confederate Veterans, April 25, 1906:

"To you, Sons of Confederate Veterans, we submit the vindication of the Cause for which we fought; to your strength will be given the defense of the Confederate soldier's good name, the guardianship of his history, the emulation of his virtues, the perpetuation of those principles he loved and which made him glorious and which you also cherish. Are you also ready to die for your country? Is your life worthy to be remembered along with theirs? Do you choose for yourself this greatness of soul? Not in the clamour of the crowded street, Not in the shouts and plaudits of the throng, But in ourselves are triumph and defeat.

Remember it is your duty to see that the true history of the South is presented to future generations"

General Joseph Finegan

General Joseph Finegan

Joseph R. Finegan was born in Clones, Ireland on November 17, 1814. He came to Florida in his early 20's and became a planter and a lawyer. He also fought in the Seminole Indian Wars. Joseph Finegan met his first wife Rebecca, who was the widow of a wealthy landowner and moved to Jacksonville, where he built a lumber company.

In 1854, he moved his family to Fernandina to work as a contractor for Mr. David Levy Yulee, building the Florida Railroad, which would run from Fernandina to Cedar Key. It took 5.5 years to build the 155.5 miles of track. Part of that original alignment, from Callahan to Waldo, Florida exists today.

In December of 1860, Finegan organized and was Captain of volunteer militia, known as the Fernandina Volunteers. During 1861 the Fernandina Volunteers garrisoned Fort Clinch and in May of 1861 Finegan was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel.

In 1861, Finegan was appointed as a member of the state's secession convention by John Milton, Governor of the State of Florida and placed in charge of military affairs for the state.

April 5, 1862, Finegan was appointed as Brigadier General and had the command of the District of Middle and East Florida.

February 20, 1864 the forces, under General Finegan's command, fought in the Battle of Ocean Pond near Olustee, Florida. Union Brigadier General Truman Seymour headed an expedition into Florida and met Finegan's 5,000 Confederate soldiers. The battle raged and late that evening, the Union line broke and retreated to Jacksonville. The Confederates lost 946 brave soldiers to the Union's 2,806 casualties. This victory most likely saved the Florida State Capitol (Tallahassee) from being captured by Federal Troops. The State of Florida had the only capitol in the Confederacy, east of the Mississippi River, that was not captured. Later in 1864 to 1865, General Finegan commanded the Florida Brigade in the Army of Northern Virginia. After the war, General Finegan served in the Florida State Senate.

After the war, Finegan returned to Fernandina and discovered his mansion had been seized by the Freedmen's Bureau for use as an orphanage and school. It took some legal wrangling, but he was eventually able to recover this property. Finegan had to sell most of his land along Lake Monroe to Henry Sanford to pay his attorneys and other creditors. Finegan was able to keep a home site at Silver Lake. After the death of his son, Rutledge, on April 4, 1871, Finegan moved to Savannah, Georgia and worked as a cotton broker.

While living in Savannah, Finegan married his second wife, the widow, Lucy C. Alexander, a Tennessee belle, and moved to Orange County, Florida.

General Finegan died October 29, 1885 at Rutledge, Florida after a brief illness and was buried at the Old City Cemetery in Jacksonville, Florida.

Finegan's Gravesite




I salute the Confederate flag, with affection, reverence, and undying devotion to the Cause for which it stands.


Confederate Heritage License Plate Info

  Sons of Confederate Veterans ● Florida Division ● Nassau County