Wade Hampton



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Wade Hampton writes to Colonel Charles Marshall a letter in memorium of General Robert E. Lee. He discusses and honors General Lee's "great deeds & spotless virtue", "marvelous military career", and utmost desire to serve, dated March 28, 1871.


[recto] Wild Woods March 28th 1871 My Dear Sir Your letter has just reached me & while the determination your Com. has come to can not but be satisfying to me. I confess to some disappointment that they did not arrive at a different conclusion. Of course I shall cheerfully undertake the task their kindness [?] imposed on me but it will be almost impossible for me to do anything at all worthy of the subject on the occasion. My business here is so absorbing & so vexatious. That I can not hope to do justice over to myself, but I shall go on immediately to propose something. My general plan will be this. To introduce the subject by saying that the simplest language of truth is the best to tell of the great deeds & spotless virtue of Lee. The unadorned narrative that tells his marvelous career is all that is needed. [?]. Then after glancing briefly at [verso] the military portion of his career, showing in what estimation they would hold him to depict the virtues of his character. Especially to them how highly their virtues show after his retirement from public life & to hold him up not only as an example but as the type & representation of Southern civilization in contradistinction to Northern. I wish too to share that his whole heart was in our cause & that it remained so till the day of his death. This has been about the scope of the line I have laid out since I have found that no retreat is possible & I hope that you can aid me. I did not prepare any criticism on his military life for as there can be but one opinion as to his merits there. I lift that to his biography, but I should like your opinion on that point. I saw extracts from an article comparing Gen Lee & Wellington written by Bledsoe & I should like to get the paper if you can find it for me. Any memnda[?] you think will be useful do send. If possible I will go on by the [recto p. 2] 1st June, but if my work is not ready by that time you can fix any day in Sept or Oct. It will be necessary for me to go to Columbia to get some of my papers. All that can be of any use to you shall be placed at yr disposal. Such recollections as you think may assist you, I will cheerfully give. There is one point involving a matter of great delicacy, which if touched at all should be handled very carefully. It is the failure of Jackson to cross the White Oak swamp in time to aid Longstreet in his fight at Fraser's farm. My own conviction was & is that the delay thus saved McClellans army. I will give you all the facts about this movement when we meet & in the meantime you had better write to Maj. T.G. Barker, Charleston & to Ch. Venable in reference to this matter. If any of Whitings staff can be heard from valuable information can be got in that quarter. I think it due to Gen Lee to show that whenever his plans failed of perfect success, the fault was not with him. [verso] There are several incidents of the last Campaign which may be of interest & importance to you & all of those you shall have. It is a matter of great regret that you can not obtain access to the Con. Records but the refusal to let you see them is in entire keeping with the character of the people who unfortunately are custodians of him. Our whole history is being falsified & it is of the utmost consequence that our own people should with this own record. You shall hear from me in time to make any arrangements you desire for the meeting in Balt. & I hope soon to hear again from you. With my best wishes I owe Very truly yrs [signed] Wade Hampton (at. Marshall

Creation Date



Wild Woods






United States

Creator Life Dates



Wade Hampton, General Lee, McClellan, Wellington, Wild Woods, funeral, Colonel Charles Marshall, March 28 1871, 1871, White Oak Swamp, Longstreet, confederate, memorial

Resource Identifier


Date Digital

March 2014

Document Type



Military History | Social History | United States History

Format (medium)


Format (IMT)




Digitization Specifications

800ppi 24-bit depth color; Scanned with an Epson 15000 Photo scanner with Epson Scan software; Archival master is a TIFF; TIFFs converted to PDF with Adobe Acrobat XI Pro.


The original from which this digital representation is taken is housed in The Littlejohn Collection at Wofford College, located in the Sandor Teszler Library.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Wade Hampton Letter regarding memorium of General E. Lee to Colonel Charles Marshall, 1871.



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