|Cadet William S. Simkins|
William was born on August 25, 1842. On January 9, 1861, he was a senior cadet at the Citadel, a South Carolina military academy. At daybreak, he and several other cadets were manning a battery overlooking the Charleston Harbor. Standing watch that morning, he saw a signal from a guard boat and quickly sounded the alarm, waking up his fellow cadets. They spotted the Union ship Star of the West attempting to resupply Fort Sumter. A cannon was loaded, aimed at the supply ship, and William fired. It was the first shot of the Civil War. (see The Civil War Ended in Texas for who fired the last shot.)
Simkins moved to Florida after the war, studied law and passed the bar exam in 1870. He move to Texas in 1873 and eventually joined the law faculty of the University of Texas. After a long and successful law career, he passed away in Dallas on February 27, 1929. 68 years after he fired the first shot of the Civil War.
|Simkins Family Plot in Greenwood Cemetery|
|Grave of William Simkins|