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[201] or district of Middle and East Florida. The coast of Florida was from the beginning of the war at the mercy of the Federal fleet, and within the limits of the State were only a few scattered Confederate troops. Early in 1864, when it had been found that Charleston was too strong for the Federal army and fleet combined, General Gilmore, who commanded the department of the South, decided to make an effort to overrun Florida and annex it to the Union. It was considered desirable by the United States authorities that some of the Southern States should be brought so completely under the control of the Union army as to enable such of the inhabitants, white and black, as might desire to do so, to form what they called ‘loyal’ State governments and be readmitted to the Union. Florida seemed to offer good prospect of success in such an undertaking. An army under Gen. Truman Seymour and the fleet of Admiral Dahlgren attempted the task of subduing Florida, and General Finegan found himself in a dangerous position, demanding skillful generalship and courageous firmness. So well did he perform his part that a signal victory was obtained at Olustee, and the Federal enterprise entirely defeated. He was soon succeeded by General Gardner as commander of the district of Middle and Eastern Florida, and was sent to Virginia in May at the head of a Florida brigade, with which Perry's old brigade was consolidated. At the second battle of Cold Harbor General Finegan and his Florida brigade had a good opportunity for distinction, and made memorable use of the occasion to the credit of themselves and their State. This was the memorable 3d of June, when Grant's charging columns broke through a weak point in Breckinridge's line. Immediately Finegan's brigade rushed into the breach and in a desperate fight drove back the assailants with heavy loss to Hancock's troops. General Finegan served from that time with the army of Northern Virginia until March 20, 1865, when he was again assigned to duty in Florida. After

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