Sumter District Confederate Soldiers
Hampton's Legion
(Mounted) Infantry


The Hampton Legion South Carolina Volunteers was organized June 12, 1861 with an Infantry Battalion of eight companies, A through H; a Cavalry Battalion of four companies, A through D, and an Artillery battalion of two companies, A and B. Formed in 1861 by its namesake, Wade Hampton III, the largest landowner in all South Carolina and the grandson of reputedly the richest planter in the nation, Hampton's Legion joined the Confederate States service with units of artillery, infantry and cavalry, its ranks filled with some of the cream of Palmetto society. Although opposed to secession prior to the war, once South Carolina Seceded and war was inevitable, Wade Hampton used his own fortune to raise and equip the Legion to support his state and the new Confederate Government. With bearing that was distinctly military, but without pompousness or egotism, Hamptons personally led his legion as perhaps the South's foremost example of dilettante, playing soldier and destined to become remarkably good at it.

During the war, Hampton's Legion produced 43 general officers, 4 of which would one day become Generals.

The original Hampton Legion was unique in that it had the three main branches of the army; cavalry, infantry and artillery. With the re-organization of the Confederate Army in 1862, on August 22, 1862, the cavalry Battalion was assigned to J.E.B. Stuart as the 2nd Regiment of the South Carolina Cavalry where it served with distinction throughout the war. Hampton took over command of the Confederate Cavalry in 1864 following Stuart's death.

The Artillery battalion became separate and independent companies sometime prior to August 25, 1862;  This portion of the Legion was converted to horse artillery, (all members mounted), and fought with the cavalry throughout the remainder of the war. During this time it came to be known as Hart's Battery, named after it's commander, James F. Hart. Company A became Hart’s Company, Horse Artillery, South Carolina, and Company B became Bachman’s Company, South Carolina Artillery. 

The infantry was transferred to John B. Hood's Texas Brigade. The legion infantry saw severe service throughout the war, particularly at Sharpsburg were most of its original members were killed or wounded.

The eight infantry companies of the Hampton legion were assigned to Hood’s Texas Brigade immediately following the Battle of Seven Pines (May 31-June 1, 1862). These South Carolina companies fought with Texas Brigade in the battles of Second Manassas (August 30, 1862); Boonsboro (September 14, 1862), Sharpsburg (September 17, 1862). In mid-November, 1862, the Legion fought in the battles engaged in by the Army of Northern Virginia (except Chancellorsville) and in the Chickamauga and East Tennessee Campaigns under Longstreet in the Fall of 1863 and Winter of 1863-64.

In the Spring of 1864, this South Carolina Infantry Regiment was mounted and transferred to the cavalry service. It was paroled at Appomattox, April 12, a865 as "Hampton’s Legion Mounted Infantry, South Carolina Volunteers." Source: Hood’s Texas Brigade: A Compendium page 397

The Hampton Legion (Infantry) were engaged in the following battles:

The Hampton Legion (Inf.) was composed of the following:

Bibliography for Hampton’s South Carolina Legion

Brock, R.A.  The Appomattox Roster. The Southern Historical Society. 1887

Crute, Joseph H., Jr. Units of the Confederate States Army. Midlothian, VA: Derwent Books, 1987. Ref. pp. 268-69  for a concise summary of the legion's service.

Confederate Military History, Extended Edition
. Vol. 6: South Carolina. Wilmington, NC: Broadfoot, 1987. 931 p. E484C65.1987v6. Contains numerous, scattered references to South Carolina units.

Priest, John M. Stephen Elliott Welch of the Hampton Legion. Shippensburg, PA: Burd Street Pr, 1994. 101 p. E605W44.1994.

Sifakis, Stewart. Compendium of the Confederate Armies: South Carolina.... NY: Facts on File, 1995. p. 49  E577S53.1995. (Unit organizational history).

Wells, Edward L. Hampton and his Cavalry in '64. Richmond, VA: B.F. Johnson, 1899. 429 p. E547.3H2W4.


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This web page was posted on January 27, 2008

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Cynthia Ridgeway Parker

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Company I 25th Regiment South Carolina Volunteers

Company I 23rd Regiment South Carolina Volunteers

Company H 26th Regiment South Carolina Volunteers

Company K 23rd Regiment South Carolina Volunteers

20th South Carolina State Militia, Sumter District, S.C.

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