Historic Markers Across Florida

Civil War 1861-1865

Marker ID:  
Location: in Veterans Memorial Park along the waterfront, Seminole Blvd, Sanford, FL
County: Seminole
Coordinates: N 28° 48.907    W 081° 16.086
  28.81511666    -81.2681
Style: Interpretative Sign **
Waymark: WMQ6K8


In 1861, following years of increasing hostility over the issues of slavery and states' rights, slave holding states separated from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America. The Civil War (War Between the States) began April 12, 1861 with a Confederate attack on Fort Sumter in South Carolina. President Abraham Lincoln called for the creation of a Union military force made up of volunteers from the states north of the Mason Dixon Line. In September 1861, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation freeing all slaves in the United States. Years of battles ended on April 9, 1865 with the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia. More than 620,000 soldiers, sailors, and civilians died in the war. After the war, investors from the North bought land at bargain prices in the South and veterans from both sides found the opportunity for success on the Florida frontier.

General Joseph Finegan:
Confederate Brigadier General Joseph Finegan was born in Clones, Ireland and came to Florida in the 1830s. He was in command at the Battle of Olustee, one of only two battles in Florida, and he also fought in Virginia. After the war, he acquired the land grant that is now Sanford for $40. In 1870, he sold the land to Henry S. Sanford for $18,200.

Joseph Tucker:
Judege Joseph W. Tucker was a leading figure in the Confederate secret service. He led a group of riverboat saboteurs on the Mississippi River known as "boat burners." At the end of the war he escaped to Bermuda, coming to Florida only after the government granted amnesty. He purchased land from Gen. Joseph Finegan and became a leader in Sanford's development.

Henry S. Sanford:
General Henry S. Sanford, city founder, was granted his honorary military rank by the governor of Minnesota in recognition of his gift of cannons to that state's militia. Sanford was a diplomat specializing in espionage. During the war, Sanford organized a surveillance network to track Confederate activity in Great Britain, where textile mills relied on Southern cotton.

Adam Shadrach:
Adam Shadrach, "Old Shad," was Sanford's official gunner. He fired the city cannon on all special occasions. Born a slave in South Carolina, he came to Sanford after fighting with the 2nd Regiment Light Artillery of the US Colored Troops during the war.

Tarver and Way:
Confederate veteran O.S. Tarver and Union veteran D.L. Way pose during a Sanford pageant celebrating reconciliation after the war. Veterans from both sides built the city and they are buried together in Sanford's cemeteries.

City of Sanford