Floridians attempt to claim war’s first shot

They’ve already got great weather, oranges, and Mickey Mouse.  Do they have to have this, too?

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6 Comments

Filed under Civil War, History and Memory

6 responses to “Floridians attempt to claim war’s first shot

  1. Wow, that’s kind of silly. You really wonder if these people have no one to take them aside and tell them that. Why not dig around and find where some secesh militiaman’s weapon discharged by accident and call that the “first shot of the Civil War.”

    I get it that Florida is not often thought of as a “Civil War state,” and in fact there were lots of engagements there. My g-g-g-grandfather and his teenage son both enlisted in an old-men-and-boys home guard regiment late in the war — but this fixation on establishing superlatives — the first, the last, the biggest, the bloodiest — really does get int he way of doing good history.

  2. I note that the local SCV camp pushing this reminds that ” it marked the first time federal troops fired toward Confederate agitators.” That’s gotta be part of the thinking here — to underscore that it was the Federals that “fired the first shot.”

  3. Michael Lynch

    I think you’re right about the obsession with “firsts.” It’s a little odd, and in some ways it can actually distort historical meaning. No matter who might’ve landed in America before 1492, it was still Columbus that “discovered” the New World in every meaningful sense of the term, since that marks the beginning of serious Old World involvement in the Americas.

    Since the Yankees were firing warning shots, I wonder where they’re getting this bit about shooting toward Confederates. Maybe the Rebs had jetpacks. If so, I smell a Harry Turtledove bestseller here.

    –ML

  4. Pingback: “We’re Number One! We’re Number One!” « Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

  5. Hm. The words “blank” and “drunken” really jump out at me here. Also “insignificant.” Alright, that last one may not actually have been in the article. But still, there’s really no claim there.

  6. Michael Lynch

    Yeah, I don’t think this is something that’s going to re-write the history of the war.

    –ML

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