Edmund Ruffin (January 5, 1794 – June 17, 1865) was a farmer and slaveholder, a Confederate soldier, and an 1850s political activist. He advocated states' rights, secession, and slavery and was described by opponents as one of the Fire-Eaters. He was an ardent supporter of the Confederacy and a longstanding enemy of the North.Because the widely held belief that he fired the first shot of the Battle of Fort Sumter, Ruffin is credited as "firing the first shot of the Civil War."
c. 1898 Marion, Indiana — Veterans eat their meals in the dining hall of the National Soldiers' Home, a facility for the care of disabled American veterans, many from the Civil War. How the last American Civil War veterans lived, loved and died.