Remembering Fort Sumter
“Perhaps a word should be inserted here as to which side was the aggressor in this historic conflict. Who bears the guilt of starting the war? The North has sought to lay this stigma upon the South since we fired the first shot.
But the courts (and common sense as well) have decreed that the aggressor is not the one who strikes the first blow, but the one who makes that blow necessary. The ground on which Fort Sumter stood had been lent to the Federal Government by the State of South Carolina for the erection of a fort to guard its chief harbor, but when South Carolina withdrew from the Union, the property automatically reverted to the State. Morally and legally, the first blow was not struck at Charleston, but when this fleet with hostile intent weighed anchor in the harbor of New York. Hence the guilt of aggression lies at the door of the Federal government at Washington. (See Stephens History of the US, pp. 421-429)”
(Some Things For Which the South Did Not Fight, Henry Tucker Graham, 1946)