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Wade Hampton

There were three men in American history -- grandfather, father, and son -- called Wade Hampton:

  1. Wade Hampton (1754—1835), captain in the War of Independence and brigadier-general in the War of 1812;
  2. Wade Hampton (1791—1858), one of the wealthiest planters in the South; and
  3. Wade Hampton (1818—1902), Confederate cavalry leader.

Wade Hampton (March 28, 1818April 11, 1902), Confederate cavalry leader, was born in Columbia, South Carolina. In 1836 he graduated at South Carolina College, and was trained for the law. He devoted himself, however, to the management of his great plantations in South Carolina and in Mississippi, and took part in state politics and legislation.

Wade Hampton (died 1902)
Though his own views were opposed to the prevailing state-rights tone of South Carolinian opinion, he threw himself heartily into the Southern cause in 1861, raising a mixed command known as "Hampton’s Legion," which he led at the first battle of Bull Run. During the Civil War he served in the main with the Army of Northern Virginia in Stuart's cavalry corps. After Stuart's death Hampton distinguished himself greatly in opposing Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley, and was made lieutenant-general to command Lee's whole force of cavalry. In 1865 he assisted Joseph Johnston in the attempt to prevent Sherman's advance through the Carolinas.

After the war his attitude was conciliatory and he recommended a frank acceptance by the South of the war's political consequences. He was governor of his state in 18761879, being installed after a memorable contest; he served in the United States Senate in 18791891, and was United States commissioner of Pacific railways in 18931897.

Further reading

E. L. Wells: Hampton and Reconstruction (Columbia, S. C, 1907).

This text has been adapted from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica.