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‘  children as the brightest jewels she possesses. At the call of patriotism they are not laggard in responding to it, and Virginia blood has enriched every battle-field upon American soil. And we thank God the spirit has not departed from her, but burns as brightly in the breasts of her children as in the days of her Washington and her Henry. But of the many bright examples that she has furnished of patriotism the most sublime is the conduct of the venerable Edmund Ruffin, whose head is silvered over by more than eighty winters, who, when the war-cloud lowered over the gallant city of Charleston, volunteered as a private, and with his knapsack on his back and musket on his shoulder tendered his services to South Carolina to fight against the aggression upon her rights. It was his hand that pointed and fired the first gun at Fort Sumter. The world has pointed to the conduct of Cincinnatus, who, when his country was invaded by a hostile foe, left his plow in the furrow to take command of her forces, and after he had driven out the invader and restored his country to peace and prosperity, resigned his position and returned to his plow. By this one act he embalmed his memory in the breasts of his countrymen and of all patriots throughout the world. The conduct of Cincinnatus was not more patriotic than that of Edmund Ruffin, and side by side in the niche of fame will their names be recorded by every patriotic heart.’ From the New York Post: ‘Shot and Hemp.—A Charleston dispatch states that the “first shot from Stevens's battery was fired by the venerable Edmund Ruffin, of Virginia.” A piece of the first hemp that is stretched in South Carolina should be kept for the neck of this venerable and bloodthirsty Ruffian.’ From the above quoted expressions it would indeed be impossible to conclude otherwise than that the first gun on Fort Sumter was shot by Edmund Ruffin, and that such should be recorded as an historical fact. In fact, the above from S. D. Lee is the first intimation of a doubt on this subject that has ever been brought to the notice of any of the descendants of Edmund Ruffin. To all who knew Edmund Ruffin it would have been useless to say more than that throughout his manuscript he speaks of it as a fact. To those to whom he was a stranger I would say that many more comments of the press of that date establish the same fact; those of the South being loud in his praise, and those of the North being still more vindictive.
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