Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Who Fired the First Shot?-- Part 1

This being the anniversary of Confederates in Charleston Harbor opening fire on the Union's Fort Sumter and actually starting the shooting war, this blog entry is very appropriate.

From the winter 2010 Hallowed Ground Magazine of the CWPT.

The firing on Fort Sumter was very much like the opening shots at Lexington, Massachusetts Green, the "shot heard around the world" that started the American Revolution, 86 years earlier, turned a theoretical war into a real shooting one.

Some popular legends have militant Virginia secessionist Edmund Ruffin as firing it, but the distinction was actually that of Captain George Sholter James of the South Carolina Artillery. (I always thought Ruffin fired it.)

Born in 1829 and grew up in South Carolina's capital, Columbia. At age 17, James left college to fight in the Mexican War and then returned to graduate and teach. In 1856, he returned to the military, serving in the US Army. Upon South Carolina's secession, he resigned his commission and went to Charleston to offer his services.

Initially serving as an aide to Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, he brought messages to Major Anderson in Fort Sumter.

More to Come. --Old B-Runner

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