Wade Hampton


Wade Hampton

Confederate Warrior, Conservative Statesman

Walter Brian Cisco

416 pages


January 2006


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September 2011


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About the Book

On the eve of the American Civil War, Wade Hampton, one of the wealthiest men in the South and indeed the United States, remained loyal to his native South Carolina as it seceded from the Union. Raising his namesake Hampton Legion of soldiers, he eventually became a lieutenant general of Confederate cavalry after the death of the legendary J. E. B. Stuart. Hampton’s highly capable, but largely unheralded, military leadership has long needed a modern treatment. After the war, Hampton returned to South Carolina, where chaos and violence reigned as Northern carpetbaggers, newly freed slaves, and disenfranchised white Southerners battled for political control of the devastated economy. As Reconstruction collapsed, Hampton was elected governor in the contested election of 1876 in which both the governorship of South Carolina and the American presidency hung in the balance. While aspects of Hampton’s rise to power remain controversial, under his leadership stability returned to state government and rampant corruption was brought under control. Hampton then served in the U.S. Senate from 1879 to 1891, eventually losing his seat to a henchman of notorious South Carolina governor "Pitchfork" Ben Tillman, whose blatantly segregationist grassroots politics would supplant Hampton’s genteel paternalism. In Wade Hampton, Walter Brian Cisco provides a comprehensively researched, highly readable, and long-overdue treatment of a man whose military and political careers had a significant impact upon not only South Carolina, but America. Focusing on all aspects of Hampton’s life, Cisco has written the definitive military-political overview of this fascinating man. Winner of the 2006 Douglas Southall Freeman Award.

Author Bio

Walter Brian Cisco is the author of States Rights Gist: A South Carolina General of the Civil War, an alternative selection of the History Book Club, and Taking a Stand: Portraits from the Southern Secession Movement. He lives in Cordova, South Carolina.

Table of Contents

List of MapsList of IllustrationsAcknowledgements1. “Consider Everything Certain Which Is Possible”: The Hampton Heritage2. “Deep and Unfathomable Mines”: Learning to Be a Gentleman3. “Flags Were Waving in Every Direction”: Hampton Chooses Secession4. “Stand Up for South Carolina”: The Legion Goes to War5. “A Man for Hard Work”: Infantry Commander6. “The People Have Surrendered Chambersburg”: Hampton Joins the Cavalry7. “Have All the Sabres Sharpened”: Brandy Station and Gettysburg8. “I Would Not Care if You Went Back to South Carolina”: Reinforcing the Division9. “My Heart is Sorely Bruised”: Stuart’s Successor10. “The Grand Smash Has Come”: Defeat in the Carolinas11. “I Am Not Reconstructed Yet”: Surrender Brings No Peace12. “We Shall Not Give Up Our Country”: Battle Against the Radicals13. “Straight Every Time”: Hampton is Nominated for Governor14. “To Storm Hell for Hampton”: The Red Shirt Campaign15. “I Am Going There to Demand Our Rights”: Both Sides Claim Victory16. “He Has Kept All His Pledges”: Governor Hampton17. “Hampton Has Nothing to Regret”: United States Senator18. “Memories of the Past”: Railroad Commissioner, Southern SymbolNotesBibliographyIndexAbout the Author


Winner of the 2006 Douglas Southall Freeman Award.