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Wade Hampton: Confederate Warrior to Southern Redeemer (Civil War America) Hardcover – May 19, 2008

ISBN-13: 978-0807831939 ISBN-10: 080783193X Edition: 1st

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Editorial Reviews


Elucidates Hampton's critical role during Reconstruction as a conservative leader, governor, U.S. senator, and southern Redeemer.--Courier

The author accomplished his twofold mission of learning more about Hampton the man, and through his story, providing a better understanding of Southern paternalism, honor and chivalry, the motivation of Confederate soldiers, Reconstruction, racism and white supremacy, and the myth of the Lost Cause. . . . The pace of this book is brisk, and it is well organized. The transition between chapters and parts is smooth, and the writing is clear and concise. . . . Andrew has succeeded in producing a Hampton biography that is not only definitive, but also entertaining.--The Washington Times

[A] splendid biography. . . . Adds significantly to the recent burst of scholarship on this long-overlooked leader. . . . Both sensitive and, when it is called for, unsparing.--Journal of American History

Carefully researched.--Journal of America's Military Past

Andrew's stellar biography . . . offers new insights and a convincing interpretation. . . . This study will likely take its place as the best of several Hampton biographies. It ranks as a significant scholarly achievement that deserves wide reading among historians of the South, the Civil War, and Reconstruction.--Military History of the West

A meticulously researched and superbly written biography. . . . Highly recommended.--Choice

A compelling full biography notable for its scope, balance, and insight. . . . Andrew's insights and detailed attention to both Hampton's military career and his political odyssey makes this work stand out as the fullest and best.--Journal of Military History

Hampton is one of those larger-than-life figures whose actions repay close attention and whose careers match pivotal moments in America's history. . . . Andrew . . . describes Hampton's wartime experience with special vividness.--Wall Street Journal

Fills a large gap in both Civil War and Reconstruction history. . . . An authoritative biography of an interesting man that will well serve serious students of Southern history, the Civil War, the Reconstruction era, and Wade Hampton.--Military Review

Takes on the substantial task of imposing order on the different stages of [Hampton's] career . . . impressive.--The Journal of Southern History

Anyone with an interest in South Carolina history, Civil War history, or the history of postwar turmoil in the South would do well to add [Wade Hampton] to their library.--Georgia Historical Quarterly

The most thorough biography of Hampton that has been published and should prove of major interest to students of the Civil War and the nineteenth-century South.--North Carolina Historical Review


Hampton's life and significance in southern history merit close re-examination, and Rod Andrew is just the right person for the task. In this first-rate biography, Andrew provides an enlightened portrait of a man driven by personal circumstances as well as southern codes of paternalism and chivalry. It is the best, most careful and rigorous study of Hampton, offering a new understanding of South Carolina politics at a critical time in the state's history.--Vernon Burton, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana

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Product Details

  • Series: Civil War America
  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press; 1st edition (May 19, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080783193X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0807831939
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,350,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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This large book offers great detail about the life of Wade Hampton.
Richard T. Frey
A great perspective on a former hero from the south before during; and after the civil war.
He was deeply mourned in passing as one of the finest of his era and section.
O. Pflug

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By O. Pflug on August 9, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After a dearth of many years, four biographies of southern soldier and politician Wade Hampton have recently appeared. I have read three; Rod Andrew's work is easily the best. Many of Hampton's personal papers were lost to fire; there are virtually no letters from him in existence before the war and most of his war papers were also lost, but Andrew has done an excellent job finding sources and scattered letters. Andrew used several letters from Hampton or close acquaintances that Brian Cisco did not include in his recent popular biography of Hampton. Andrew also gives a much fuller portrait of Hampton as a slave-holder than does Cisco, contrasting Wade III's paternal management with the brutality of his grandfather Wade I.
I was impressed that Andrew detailed Hampton's amazing record as a cavalry commander with such detail, surpassing the treatment of Edward Longacre, who wrote about Hampton's Civil War service. But it is Andrew's analysis of Hampton's character and his commitment to southern ideals that stands out the most. Andrew has done an excellent job of defining Hampton in the era and landscape of his own existence, not forcing him to abide by modern standards of racial justice. Hampton was a racist, and a paternalist, but his legacy to the world was vastly different from men like Ben Tillman, Martin Gary, and James Henry Hammond. Hampton was a man of honor, who came to bitterly hate Yankees, especially William Sherman, and who never regretted or apologized for his role in the war. Although he did earnestly seek black votes and appointed many to office after his disputed gubernatorial election in 1876-77, he was never committed to enforcing civil rights and was an impotent defender of the limited success of his racial policy by the 1890s.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Seth J. Frantzman HALL OF FAME on June 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Wade Hampton III who was born in 1818 and whose life spanned the century (he died in 1902) was an important figure in South Carolina and in the American South. He was born to near-aristocracy, his father having fought in the War of 1812 and his grandfather in the Revolution. He was a wealthy plantation owner, one of the wealthiest in his state. He was also a conservative who opposed the break with the union, but when called upon to do his duty went to war and raised his own regiment known as 'Hampton's legion'. He served in the Stonewall Brigade and then took over JEB Stuart's cavalry units after the battle of Yellow Tavern. He served to the end with Lee. His son died in the war and his house and properties were destroyed by Sherman's union army in its march to the sea. After the war he was drafted to run for Govenor by the Democrats but relented waiting until 1877 to take the helm of his state as a passionate opponent of reconstruction and northern meddling in southern affairs. Later he served as a Senator.

This book is not an fawning biography but rather a more critical one that examines the importance of this influential leader whose life mirrored that of his southern compatriots and that of his class. He was the embodiment of the south and as the title suggests, both a warrior and a redeemer whose efforts and politics hang over the South today.

A very interesting, well written account that will appeal to devotees of Southern history and the Civil War.

Seth J. Frantzman
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John Roethle on December 2, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I am a new resident of Western North Carolina who discovered Wade Hampton III from some research done on Wade Hampton Frost M.D., the renown epidemiologist, who became the first doctor to direct and build John Hopkins Department of Epidemiology that was the first in the United States. His father Dr Henry Frost, came to the United States via Charleston, South Carolina and named his seventh child after Wade Hampton III because of his high regard for Wade as a fine cavalry officer in the civil war.

While I read numerous biographies on the civil war while in college in Iowa and was familiar with many of the famous battles and William Tecumseh Sherman's infamous "March to the Sea", none of these books left me with a memory of Wade Hampton and his strong influence on the Civil War both as an officer and a strong financial contributor to the South Carolina war effort, and his major influence on the post civil war politics of the south.

It has resulted in my trip to Cashier, NC to visit High Hampton (Wade's hunting preserve and now renown mountain resort) , my review of two books on Charleston, South Carolina and personal trips to Greenville, SC, Columbia, SC, Chattanooga/Lookout Mountain, TN and Charleston, SC to visit historical buildings and meet knowledgeable gatekeepers and rel
atives of southerners in the Civil War.

The author has managed to cover all aspects of the history of the antibellum period, the development of the slave problem, the secession of the southern states, the war between the north and the south and finally the creation of a integrated union. Wade Hampton III played a very important part in all the phases which is well covered in the excellent manuscript produced by Rod Andrew Jr. It is an excellent overview of this important period of our nation's history.
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Wade Hampton: Confederate Warrior to Southern Redeemer (Civil War America)
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