Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Who Fired the First Shot?-- Part 2

The situation worsened. The honor of firing the first shot was originally given to Virginia Congressman Rodger Pryor, but at the last minute, he declined and James volunteered for the job. There is some question as to whether Captain James actually pulled the lanyard, but he definitely gave the order to fire.

After Sumter's fall, James enlisted in the Third South Carolina Battalion and was elected commander and promoted to Lt.-Colonel. The unit served along the SC coast until ordered to Richmond.

In September 1862, at the Battle of South Mountain, preceding the Battle of Antietam, he was shot in the chest and presumed killed in action although some accounts say he was mortally wounded and died later in the night.

The Central Maryland Heritage League says Col. James was buried at Wise's Cabin, but the wooden head board had disappeared by 1874 when the South Mountain Confederate dead were re-interred at Hagerstown, Maryland. It is assumed that he was buried with other Confederate unknowns at the city's Rose Hill Confederate Cemetery.

Did he or Didn't He? --Old B-R'er

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