Saturday, July 9, 2011

150-Year-Ago -- Hampton's Legion of South Carolina

[Editor's note: Hamption's Legion of South Carolina was one of the most famous units in the Confederate Army. It commander and founder, Col. Wade Hampton, 1818-1902, had no military experience at all but had natural ability that made him and outstanding leader and one of the best Confederate generals in the war. Hampton's Legion has six companies of infantry, four companies of cavalry and one battery of artillery. Hampton, a wealthy plantation owner, financed all of the weapons himself. The unit has some of the finest uniforms among all the early war volunteer. Hamption's Legion distinguished itself at the First Battle of Manassas. After the war Hamption became governor of South Carolina.]

Colonel, later general, Wade Hamption
(Library of Congress)
The Richmond Daily Dispatch
July 9, 1861

Hampton's Legion.

     This splendid military organization has attracted much attention in Richmond, and will act a prominent part in this war of subjugation, forced upon us by the Black Republican wretches of the North. A member of the Legion, who signs himself "Jasper," writes from the camp near this city:
     We are making the busiest preparations for efficient service. Ten large companies are now assembled, and our noble-hearted and intrepid Colonel arrived last evening. He has long since assured us that he intends to lead a Logion which will not sully the fair fame of the Palmet to State, and that, if there is fighting to be done, it shall not be his fault should we not have "a place in the picture near the flashing of the guns"--than which nothing could be more in unison with the wishes and impulses of every Carolinian.
     The most rigid military discipline is observed, and I have not yet had the privilege of climbing to the top of the invitingly lovely hills so near us, and looking down upon your brave old city. We spent the Fourth in carop and in drilling, (which most of our corps, military men have said, are not the worst drilled companies they have seen,) so as to be accustomed to severe exercise and enured to fatigue, and be the better prepared to strike as soon as needful in defence of those same great principles.

Pvt. R. Cecil Johnson of the 8th Georgia and
Hampton's Legion. (Library of Congress)

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