The Wade Hampton Camp No. 273 held it’s 11th annual celebration of the life and accomplishments of one of South Carolina’s most distinguished heroes on Sunday afternoon, April 7, at 2 o’clock.
More than one hundred people attended this event – besides the Wade Hampton Camp, SCV members, and interested people from different parts of South Carolina.
The Memorial service itself, was held in Keenan Chapel, which is part of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. Immediately prior to the program was a concert by the Maplewood band, led by CPA Don Jones. They played on string instruments, The Rebel Soldier, What A Friend We have in Jesus, and The Old Rugged Cross, and, of course, “Dixie.”
The Master of ceremonies was the Adjutant of the Wade Hampton Camp, Charles D. Bray. He opened with a Scripture Reading of 2 Timothy 4:7-8.
The Invocation was given by the Wade Hampton Camp Chaplain, Walter W. Lindler, after which the hymn: How Firm a Foundation, was sung.
Reverend Robert Slimp spoke on the “Posts War” Wade Hampton 111. Slimp emphasized Hampton’s leadership in ending Reconstruction in South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana and any other parts of the South under that odious and brutal Federal rule of the South. Hampton worked with President-elect Rutherford B. Hayes, who became President of the United States in l877, largely in part by receiving electoral votes from the South, which was arranged by Wade Hampton, with the help of three other recently elected Southern governors. Hampton’s determination to give the blacks of South Carolina both a good education and also the vote and right to serve on juries, caused some of his supporters, to desert him, but race relations greatly improved, and President Hayes called Hampton the best Democrat in the US Senate, where the South Carolina Legislature sent General Hampton for two terms.
Speaking to the United Confederate Veterans, the United Daughters of the Confederacy, he was also very active in Church affairs.
It is interesting to note that one of Hampton’s Brigade Commanders, Brigadier General Ellison Capers, went to Seminary following the War for Southern Independence and later became the Dean at Trinity Church, where he and Hampton renewed their friendship. Later Ellison became Bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church in South Carolina.
Wade Hampton died on April 11, 1902, at age 84. His last words were, “God bless all my people, black and white.” Minutes later he whispered, “Jesus, my Precious Redeemer, please receive me,” and so he went to be with His Lord. Bishop Ellison conducted his funeral on April 14.
Following the talk, the Maplewood Band played and sang “Lorena.”
After the benediction by Chaplain Lindler, the group was led by the re-enactors and the band to the tomb of Wade Hampton. Following the singing of “Amazing Grace” and “Dixie” the group went to to Equestrian Statue on the State House grounds.
There the Dillon Camp No. 1010 led an Artillery salute and a rifle salute of 14 uniformed Confederate re-enactors from the Dillon Camp. The Artillery piece was supplied by uniformed reinactors from the Ellison Capers Camp No. 1212. The Cannon is owned by Mrs. Jan Stewart, who is the leader of her cannon crew. We were all saddened by the fact that a severe shoulder injury the night before prevented Mrs. Stewart from participating, but she made certain that her cannon was there with a full crew to fire it. Adjutant Arthur Quick, Jr., who led the re-enactors from Dillon, brought a mortar and led in the salute firing.
After the salute, Taps was sounded, and many of those present, accepted an invitation from direct Hampton descendant and State House member and Mrs. Kirkman Finlay to visit the magnificent ruins of Millwood Plantation, which was the Hampton plantation home, until it was burned by General Sherman during the burning, sack and looting of Columbia on February 17, l865.