OK, my old buddy Gary Adams has cleared up something that I read sometime ago !
Ok, here is the response from Mr. Hatcher concerning Edward Ruffin from it agrees with the responses from the “Museum of the Confederacy; Library of Congress; National Park Service (NPS) and now the Virginia Historical Society”
“Mr. Gary Adams
Dear Mr. Adams,
In response to your request concerning if Edmund Ruffin, Captain George S.
James, or Lieutenant Henry S. Farley fired the first shot of the war, I
offer the following information.
After Major Robert Anderson rejected the surrender demand from the members
of Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard's staff on the morning of 12 April 1861, they
went to Fort Johnson. There, by prearrangement, a 10-inch mortar was to be
fired to mark the beginning of the general bombardment of Fort Sumter. The
East Battery, containing two 10-inch mortars was selected for this honor.
Capt. James (South Carolina Artillery Battalion) commanded the artillery at
Fort Johnson was present at the battery, which was commanded by Lieut.
Farley. It is not known if James, Farley, the gun's chief of piece, the
mortar's gunner, or the No. 4 man actually pulled the lanyard that fired
the shot at 4:30 am. This shell exploded directly over Fort Sumter. This
was the first shot.
As for Ruffin firing the first shot, he wrote the following in his diary on
12 April 1861:
"At 4.30, a signal shell was thrown from a mortar battery at Fort Johnson,
which had been before ordered to be taken as the command for immediate
attack - & the firing from all the batteries bearing on Fort Sumter next
began in the order arranged ... The night before Capt. Cuthbert had
notified me that his company requested of me to discharge the first cannon
to be fired .... By order of Gen. Beauregard .... the attack was to be
commenced by the first shot at the fort being fired by the Palmetto Guard,
& from the Iron Battery (Ruffin was an honorary member of the Cuthbert's
command, the Palmetto Guard, located at the Iron Battery on Cummings Point
on Morris Island -my insert) ... Of course I was highly gratified by the
compliment, & delighted to perform the service - which I did. The shell
struck the fort, at the north-east angle of the parapet.
So, the first shot is fired from the East Battery at Fort Johnson at 4:30
am, 12 April 1861. This was followed by the gun fired by Ruffin with its
shell being the first to hit Fort Sumter.
I trust you will find this information meets your needs. If I may be of
any additional assistance, please do not hesitate to contact me again.
Richard W. Hatcher III