A group of Southern Heritage organizations have launched a project to clean up and restore the historical monument located on Wade Hampton Boulevard, East of Greer, dedicated to the memory of the ancestors of Wade Hampton III, who was probably the greatest South Carolinian who ever lived. The project is being led by the members of Camp 36, 16th South Carolina Volunteers, Sons of Confederate Veterans, along with the Hampton Lee 1281 and Hunley 2667 Chapters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

In July, 1776, the year the United States declared independence from Great Britain, Anthony Hampton, who had established a homestead on the banks of the Middle Tyger River, in Spartanburg County east of what is now Greer, South Carolina, along with his wife, son Preston and young grandson were massacred by Cherokee Indians. The surviving son Wade, age 24 at the time was away from the home hunting and returned to find his family dead and their home burned.

The survivor, who became known as the First Wade Hampton, fought in the American Revolution and became a Major General. His son, Wade Hampton II, was the father of Wade Hampton III, who was probably   the most wealthy man in South Carolina before Sherman’s scorched earth visit to the Palmetto state and the even worse period of Reconstruction.

Hampton opposed secession from the Union, however when the war became inevitable, Wade Hampton III pledged to sacrifice everything except his sacred honor in defense of his beloved state. He organized, equipped, financed and led Hampton’s Legion throughout the war, until he was promoted to command a larger unit. He served honorably and was promoted to Lieutenant General.

After the War, Wade Hampton III was elected Governor and negotiated the end to Reconstruction and occupation by federal troops.

We should take pride in the fact that one of the most important men and families in South Carolina History had their origin near Tab’s Flea Market on the banks of the Tyger River.

The surviving son of the massacre went on to influence the history of South Carolina and the course of history in a major way.

When we drive down Wade Hampton Boulevard, past Wade Hampton High School and Wade Hampton Fire Department, and we see Hampton Heights and Hampton Park Baptist Churches, it should remind us to learn more about this great historical figure that was literally one us and was honored by our ancestors.


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