First shots of Civil War re-enacted during Sesquicentennial ceremonies

Published: Apr. 12, 2011 at 11:48 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 12, 2011 at 2:31 PM EDT
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JAMES ISLAND, SC (WCSC) - Sesquicentennial ceremonies marking the first shots of the Civil War got underway Tuesday morning all over the Charleston area.

It was 150 years ago today when the War Between the States began and Confederate soldiers got the order to fire upon Fort Sumter.

That first shot re-enactment took place on Fort Johnson on James Island at 6:45 a.m. Tuesday. The gun fired was an authentic 1847 seacoast mortar, which matches the gun used by Confederate soldiers as they fired upon Fort Sumter from Fort Johnson.

Throughout the day cannons will fire from different locations including Mt. Pleasant, Sullivan's Island and James Island.

There will be a continuous cannon barrage for 45 minutes at 7 p.m. Tuesday.

Several Civil War descendants and re-enactors were on site for the 150th anniversary. Organizers also planned a memorial for all the men, both Confederate and Union, who lost their lives in South Carolina during the war.

Hundreds of visitors turned out bright and early Tuesday morning to watch the re-enactment.

The man who pulled the trigger of the first shot back in 1861 was Lt. Henry Farley. Two of his great grand nephews, William Downs and John Farley, will fire the closing shots at the ceremony on James Island.

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