The Life and Times of Gen. Wade Hampton, His Upstate Roots, Military Record and Political Impact on South Carolina History

General Wade Hampton III

When we think of historic figures who have had an impact on South Carolina history, we may thing of John C. Calhoun, “Pitchfork” Ben Tillman, J. Strom Thurmond, House Speaker David Wilkins or Rev. Jesse Jackson.

The single individual who has had the greatest impact on South Carolina History, in my view, was a man with Upstate roots, whose grandparents, uncles and aunts were massacred by Indians while living in a log cabin on the Tyger River near what is now Greer, South Carolina.

He is honored with a large statue on the grounds of the state capitol. A highway and school are named for him in Greenville County, yet the truth of his historic impact on the state has been mostly hidden from students in recent years. 

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It is one of the unfortunate ironies coming out of the Biden administration that, with all the obsession about so-called equity, policies they are putting forth will only hurt the very low-income Americans they pretend to want to help.

The Biden administration is growing government at a record pace.

If what they want is opportunity for every American, government policy should aim to encourage economic growth. Bigger, more intrusive government achieves the opposite. It stifles economic growth.

The Biden administration submitted its first 10-year budget to Congress last month.

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Wade Hampton III Part 12

After Wade Hampton III was installed as Governor of South Carolina, and Republican Rutherford B. Hayes of Ohio was inaugurated as President of the United States, President Hayes invited Gov. Hampton to Washington for an audience at the White House.

Hayes had been a Union general during the war and the two old soldiers had war experience in common. “Evidence suggests that the two old soldiers not only reached an accommodation of sorts, but also established a close personal relationship,” according to Edward G. Longacre in Gentleman and Soldier: The Extraordinary Life of General Wade Hampton.

Later they “jointly toured parts of the South and stood side-by-side in urging reconciliation between the sections.” A few years later, some of Hampton’s allies with political aspirations in South Carolina would use his relationship with the “Yankee president” against him.

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General Wade Hampton III, whose ancestors had fought Indians in the Upstate and British during the American Revolution had been a brilliant and fearless military leader in defense of his homeland. Federal troops under Gen. Sherman had invaded his beloved state, looted and torched his home and that of his family and neighbors, leaving him virtually penniless and his family homeless.

The powers that ruled South Carolina for almost a decade during “Congressional Reconstruction,” had “caused more destruction than the four years of war.”

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