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Gentleman and Soldier: A Biography of Wade Hampton III

by Edward G. Longacre

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531365,823 (3.6)None
Gentleman and Soldier is the first biography in more than 50 years of Wade Hampton III, a Confederate general whose remarkable life provides a unique sweeping insight into the entire history of the Civil War in the South. Hampton was a leading citizen of South Carolina before the War, the highest-ranking cavalry leader during the War, fought in a remarkable number of battles from Antietam to Gettysburg to Bentonville, and was South Carolina's Governor and U.S. Senator after the War. At the time of his death in 1902, Hampton was hailed as a bridge between the Old South and the New. His life was also one of dramatic contradictions. He was the quintessential slave owner, but he questioned the ethical underpinnings of the "Peculiar Institution" and argued against reopening the African slave trade. He was a prewar spokesperson for national unity, but he became an avid secessionist. He condemned violence and abhorred dueling, but he personally killed more opponents in battle than any other general, Union or Confederate. He kept South Carolina from the effects of Reconstruction, but he then extended more political benefits to African-Americans than any other Democratic governor in the postwar South. Gentleman and Soldier is the fascinating story of one of the Civil War's most remarkable and interesting generals.… (more)

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This is a very gentlemanly book. Mr. Hampton was one of the few rich Southerners to actually put his money into arming a unit to join the Army of Northern Virginia. When J.E.B. Stuart was killed, then Hampton stepped up and ended the war as the successor in command of Lee's Cavalry. Then after the war Hampton was elected Governor of South Carolina and continued to watch over the interests of the white people of his state. There's not a word on white-black relationships in the whole book. It's a triumph of historical tap-dancing. ( )
  DinadansFriend | Jul 13, 2015 |
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Gentleman and Soldier is the first biography in more than 50 years of Wade Hampton III, a Confederate general whose remarkable life provides a unique sweeping insight into the entire history of the Civil War in the South. Hampton was a leading citizen of South Carolina before the War, the highest-ranking cavalry leader during the War, fought in a remarkable number of battles from Antietam to Gettysburg to Bentonville, and was South Carolina's Governor and U.S. Senator after the War. At the time of his death in 1902, Hampton was hailed as a bridge between the Old South and the New. His life was also one of dramatic contradictions. He was the quintessential slave owner, but he questioned the ethical underpinnings of the "Peculiar Institution" and argued against reopening the African slave trade. He was a prewar spokesperson for national unity, but he became an avid secessionist. He condemned violence and abhorred dueling, but he personally killed more opponents in battle than any other general, Union or Confederate. He kept South Carolina from the effects of Reconstruction, but he then extended more political benefits to African-Americans than any other Democratic governor in the postwar South. Gentleman and Soldier is the fascinating story of one of the Civil War's most remarkable and interesting generals.

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