Edmund Ruffin was one of the most significant figures in the Old South. A gentleman, planter, writer and political commentator; he made his greatest contribution as an agricultural reformer. Also, he was a militant defender of slavery and champion of the southern cause that he gained his greatest fame. In his voluminous diary, Ruffin has left an invaluable primary account of the crucial years from 1856-1865. Volume I covers the period from Ruffin’s retirement from his Virginia plantation to the aftermath of the bombardment of Fort Sumter.