Gentleman and Soldier


Gentleman and Soldier

A Biography of Wade Hampton III

Edward G. Longacre

352 pages
26 images, 9 maps


May 2009


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eBook (EPUB)
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March 2015


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About the Book

Winner of the Douglas Southall Freeman History Award, Gentleman and Soldier is the first biography in more than fifty years of Wade Hampton III (1818–1902), a Confederate general whose life provides a unique, sweeping insight into the entire history of the Civil War in the South. Hampton was a leading citizen of South Carolina before the war and the highest-ranking cavalry leader on either side during the war. He fought in a remarkable number of battles from Antietam to Gettysburg to Bentonville and after the war served as governor of South Carolina and in the U.S. Senate.

Hampton’s life, however, was one of dramatic contradictions. He was the quintessential slave owner who nonetheless questioned the ethical underpinnings of the “peculiar institution.” He was a prewar spokesperson for national unity but became an avid secessionist. He condemned violence and abhorred dueling, but he probably killed more opponents in battle than any other general with the possible exception of Nathan Bedford Forrest. He “redeemed” South Carolina from Reconstruction but then extended more political benefits to African Americans than any other Democratic governor in the postwar South. For more than forty years he gave selflessly of himself to his state and his community, not only when wealthy but also when teetering on the abyss of poverty.

Author Bio

Edward G. Longacre has written twenty-three books on the Civil War. His book The Cavalry at Gettysburg, available in a Bison Books edition, won the Fletcher Pratt Award as the best book of Civil War nonfiction. He is also the author of Pickett, Leader of the Charge and Lee's Cavalrymen, a main selection of the History Book Club.


"In Gentleman and Soldier, prolific Civil war historian Edward G. Longacre focuses on Confederate General Wade Hampton III's military career but also introduces his and his prominent Southern family's past. . . . highly recommended to those interested in the Civil War and South Carolina history."—Curled Up with a Good Book

Table of Contents

1 - "I will sacrifice everything but principle and honor."
2 - "The legion is to serve wherever ordered."
3 - "In the face of the enemy"
4 - "Remarkable for coolness, promptness, and . . . ability"
5 - "Theirs was the sleepless watch and the . . . petite guerre."
6 - "We have stirred up the Yankees greatly."
7 - "A veritable god of war"
8 - "Charge them, my brave boys!"
9 - "A vast difference between the old and the new"
10 - "I propose to fight!"
11 - "Sherman can be destroyed."
12 - "My reputation is the only thing that I have left."
13 - "God bless all my people, black and white."


Winner of the Douglas Southall Freeman History Award

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