Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The First Shot of the Civil War - A Controversy Ignited?

Fort Barrancas, Florida
If you have seen today's Associated Press article quoting me, it looks like quite a stir has been created over where the actual first shot of the Civil War took place. 

The AP story is about an incident that took place on the drawbridge at Fort Barrancas in Pensacola, Florida, on January 8, 1861. Union troops there opened fire on a party of mysterious figures who approached the fort, hours before cadets from The Citadel fired on the supply ship Star of the West and three months before Confederate forces opened fire on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina. Back in January, I posted an article about the shooting on one of my other blogs, Civil War Florida (Please click here to read it.)

Fort Sumter, South Carolina
Last week I was contacted by a writer from the Associated Press and spoke with her briefly about the incident. That interview, of course, was condensed down to a couple of lines in the article. I hadn't thought much more about it until I woke up this morning to find the article had appeared in newspapers and on media websites literally around the world. (Please click here to read it.)

The reaction has been fascinating and from my browsing around the web, it seems that people from the United States to Australia and back are debating it.  Its enjoyable to me to see so many people discussing history, although it is a shame that far too many are just using it as a chance to be rude and insulting to Southerners in general.

Since the AP writer didn't have space to include much of what I actually think on the topic, I wrote up my thoughts this morning and posted them at Civil War Florida. If you are interested in reading more, I hope you'll take a few minutes to read them. Here is the link:

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