-- And The War Came --


Friday April 12, 1861

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4:30 A.M. The "First Shot"

VIDEO: Sumter Attacked (13.1 MB)

A signal mortar shell was fired from Fort Johnson over Fort Sumter. Firing from surrounding batteries soon followed, starting the battle. A Virginia secessionist, Edmund Ruffin, claimed to have fired the "first shot" of the battle and the Civil War.

At about 7 a.m., some two and a half hours after the general bombardment of the fort had commenced, Anderson gave the order for Sumter's guns to begin their reply. The first shot was fired by his second-in-command, Captain Abner Doubleday.


Bibliography: OR, pp. 18, 305; Chesnut, Mary Chesnut's Civil War, pp. 45-51;Thomas, Confederate Nation, p. 92; Current, Lincoln and the First Shot, p. 161.

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