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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/86

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78 Southern Historical Society Papers.

I therefore conclude that the above question, "Who fired the first gun?" has been fully and definitely answered.

On July 6th, a card from Major S. A. Pearse, formerly of this city, appeared. Major Pearce resided in Columbia many years and is remembered as the director for South Carolina of the last census taken by order of the government. His card follows:

' ' To the Editor of The Sunday Journal:

" Who fired the first gunĀ ? Fort Sumter, since the close of the Civil war, has for many years been the most interesting spot to all visitors to Charleston as being the object of attack at the opening of the war.

"The story of the firing of the first gun on the fort, and of its evacuation by Major Anderson, and of its gallant defense, has been often told. A thrilling account of it was given me by Major Hu- guenin, one of the officers in command during the memorable siege.

"While stationed at Charleston in 1867-1869, I visited the fort several times and saw the terrible effects of the bombardment by our ships of war and monitors.

"An old sergeant, whose service stripes showed that he had served his country long and faithfully, alone ' held the fort,' and it required his pilotage and the aid of a lantern to pick the way over the shat- tered fortress.

"As a souvenir of my visit the sergeant gave me a cane made from a palmetto log used in repairing the damages to the fort. Pal- metto logs and sand bags were carried to the fort at night to mend the breaks in the walls.

" From my office window on East Bay I could see Sumter with ' Old Glory ' waving over it and the vessels again sailing past un- challenged and unmolested.

' ' The ' Old City by the Sea ' was awakened to a new life and the thoughts of her people that had rested on Sumter for four long years were again turned to peaceful pursuits and the restoration of com- merce with the world.

' ' With courage and perseverance and with limited means they went to work to build up the city and restore her trade.

"Through the efforts of the Chamber of Commerce and leading citizens, millions of dollars were spent by the government to improve Charleston's harbor. Ships of great tonnage can now enter this