National News

Apr 13, 2011 5:42 AM by Nichole Larkey & AP

Who fired first Civil War shot? A dispute in Fla.

GULF ISLANDS NATIONAL SEASHORE, Fla. (AP) - A raid 150 years ago by Confederate sympathizers on a Union fort at what is now Pensacola Naval Air Station was likely little more than an ill-planned and drunken misadventure, possibly ended by one
soldier's warning shot.
But some Pensacola residents say the Jan. 8, 1861, incident might have been the Civil War's first clash - three months before the battle on April 12, 1861, at South Carolina's Fort Sumter. On Tuesday, booming cannons marked the 150th anniversary of the war as hundreds of people watched a reenactment of the Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter.
David Ogden, a ranger at Gulf Islands National Seashore in Pensacola, says the pre-Civil War Pensacola dispute doesn't warrant
a huge ceremony. Historians say Fort Sumter is widely seen as the
significant event plunging the young nation into war.

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