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Wade Hampton Edit Profile

confederate general, governor senator

Confederate general, governor of South Carolina, and United States senator.He inherited a position in the ruling gentry of the state from his grandfather and his father, who bore the same name. On the death of his father, Hampton took over another large family estate, in Mississippi.


HAMPTON, Wade was born on March 28, 1818 in Charleston, South Carolina, United States. Son of Wade Hampton II and his wife Ann (Fitzsimmons).


He attended Rice Creek Academy and graduated from South Carolina College in 1836. He studied law not only to start a practice but also to handle his own extensive business affairs.


Despite his plantation holdings and great inherited wealth, he doubted the economy of slave labor, and while he acknowledged the right of secession, he disputed it as a matter of policy. Hampton bought equipment and raised troops for the Confederate Army and entered military service as a private.

At the battle of First Manassas he was slightly wounded while holding the Warrenton Road against Keyes’ Corps and trying to sustain General Barnard Bee. Soon after his promotion to brigadier general on May 23, 1862, he was wounded in the foot during the battle of Seven Pines. In July 1862, he became second in command of J.E.B. Stuart’s Cavalry Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia, and he participated in most of Stuart’s operations thereafter.

He was wounded three times during the battle of Gettysburg. When he recovered, he was promoted to major general on August or September 3,1863. Hampton became corps commander after Stuart’s death in May 1864.

In June 1864, he saved Lynchburg by checking Philip Sheridan at Trevilian Station, capturing three thousand men in the process. On February 15,1865, he was promoted to lieutenant general. He slowed Sherman’s advance and covered General Joseph E. Johnston’s retreat through South Carolina during the final months of the war.

Hampton refused to surrender and went home to South Carolina. After the war, he tried to regain his fortune and rescue his ruined lands. A conciliatory person by nature, he opposed those who advocated continued resistance to the federal government and worked to end the carpetbag era in South Carolina.

He was elected governor in 1876 and again in 1878 and served as a U.S. senator from 1880 to 1891. Hampton retired from public life when the Populist movement changed the political structure of his state.


"Peculiar institution" of slavery was not only expedient but also ordained by God and upheld in Holy Scripture.


Stands for preserving slavery, states' rights, and political liberty for whites. Every individual state is sovereign, even to the point of secession.


In October 1838, he married Margaret Preston, who died in the summer of 1855. He married Mary Singleton McDuffie, a daughter of Senator George McDuffie of South Carolina, in June 1858. Hampton had three sons and three daughters by his two marriages.

Colonel Wade H. Hampton

Mary Singleton McDuffie

Margaret Preston