Wade Hampton historical marker

Wade Hampton (Q-1)

Confederate General, Governor of S.C., 1876-79, U.S. Senator. His summer home, "High Hampton," stood 1 1/3 miles southeast.

Location: US 64 and NC 107 at Cashiers
County: Jackson
Original Date Cast: 1936

Wade Hampton III (1818-1902)— politician, planter, and southern patrician—led South Carolina’s soldiers during the Civil War, and her citizens through the Reconstruction that followed. Hampton embodied the values of southern aristocracy, and toward the end of his life, his reputation among South Carolinians as soldier and politician was nothing short of legendary.

Born the eldest child of Wade and Ann Hampton on March 28, 1818, young Hampton divided his childhood between the family home in Charleston, his father’s plantation at “Millwood” near Columbia, and a summer home, “High Hampton,” at Cashiers in the North Carolina mountains. He received a primary education in local academies, concluding his academic endeavors at South Carolina College in 1836. He represented Richland County in the state House of Representatives in 1852. He was married twice; to Margaret Preston in 1838, and soon after her death in 1851, he wed Mary McDuffie. After two terms as a representative, he was elected to the state senate, where he served until 1861, resigning shortly after South Carolina seceded from the Union.

Hampton was commissioned a Confederate colonel, and his innate talent in equestrian tactics impressed his superiors. Hampton enjoyed victory and suffered defeat; he lived to the war’s conclusion in 1865, having been promoted to Lieutenant General. Despite attempts to join Jefferson Davis on his flight south, Hampton ultimately returned to his native state to help rebuild the south.

Hampton supported President Andrew Johnson’s plan for Reconstruction, but was an opponent of the more radical plans Republicans suggested. The people of South Carolina admired Hampton’s courage, on and off the battlefield. Subsequently, they elected him governor for two terms, starting in 1876. He led his state through a period of rebuilding and reconciliation. His popularity only grew; in 1880, he became a United States senator, a position held until 1891. After retirement, he served as president for Pacific Railways in 1893, and later returned to Columbia, where he died on April 11, 1902. His remains rest within Trinity Cathedral Churchyard in Columbia.

Robert Kilgo Ackerman, Wade Hampton III (2007)
Dumas Malone, ed., Dictionary of American Biography, VIII, 213-15—sketch by J. Herald Easterby
High Hampton Inn website: http://www.highhamptoninn.com/history.aspx
Manly Wade Wellman, Giant In Gray: A Biography of Wade Hampton of South Carolina (1949)
John G. Barrett, Sherman’s March Through the Carolinas (1956)

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