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Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 31.djvu/87

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First Shot of the War was Fired in the Air. 79

port. Fort Sumter has been rebuilt and Fort Moultrie is garrisoned with United States soldiers.

" As to whom the credit of firing the first gun on Sumter belongs there has been some discussion. 'Carleton,' the war correspondent of the Boston Daily Journal, said it belonged to Edmund Ruffin, of Virginia.

" A romantic story has been told in public print that the little daughter of Governor Pickens, of South Carolina, while held in the arms of General Beauregard, pulled the lanyard of the first gun fired on the fort.

" The little girl of this story, who became one of the most bril- liant daughters of South Carolina, was born in St. Petersburg while her father was United States minister to the court of Russia. The Czarina was her godmother, and gave her the name of ' Douschka,' meaning "my darling."

' ' Her mother was a great belle when Governor Pickens sought her hand in marriage, and was a great favorite at court.

"The man who fired the first gun on Sumter was Major Wade Hampton Gibbes, of Columbia, S. C.

' l While residing in Columbia I frequently met Major Gibbes and heard his account of that memorable firing, and from what I learned from other reputable men there is no doubt existing in my mind about the matter.

"It was not a subject of discussion at the clubs, but whenever there was any talk about it credit was given Major Gibbes for his performance.

" Major Gibbes graduated from West Point in 1860, and while at home his State (South Carolina) seceded and he sent his resignation to Washington. He was a lieutenant in Captain James' company when General Beauregard ordered the captain to open fire on the fort.

" When the order was given Lieutenant Gibbes took the corporal's place and fired the gun that sounded the note of war. General Beauregard in military parlance reported that Captain James had performed this act, but it was given to his lieutenant to carry out the order.

" Major Gibbes did not attain high rank in the Confederate army. "