I’m very happy to submit the 5th and final regiment of Hood’s Brigade (circa 1862): Hampton’s Legion from South Carolina. As with all my ACW Confederates, these are the 28mm Perry Plastics. Outside of some ironclad crewman and Confederate marines (Redoubt figures) all of my ACW collection are either Perry metals or plastics.
This regiment has a very unique history as it was formed and financed by the leading land owner in South Carolina, Wade Hampton and was the only regiment in the Confederate army to boast integrate cavalry and artillery companies along with the infantry - hence the “Legion” designation. In practice, while on campaign the integrated cavalry and artillery units were parceled out to more traditional commands.
The unit was attached to Hood’s “Texas” Brigade in 1862 and fourth with distinction during all the major engagements in the east during 1862. The regiment took horrific causalities at Antietam and went into reserve until reactivated to join Lee’s Gettysburg campaign where it arrived in time to cover the retreat.
Wade Hampton was a very interesting character. Not only did he personally raise and fund the unit during the war, he also became a leader of the opposition to the radical republicans reconstruction. Unfortunately, Hampton lead a political movement in South Carolina known as the “Red Shirts” which advocated violence to influence elections. Today we would refer to the Red Shirts as a para-military group. Despite his unsavory affiliations, Hampton was elected governor of post-war South Carolina twice and to the US senate after that. Perhaps the only redeeming aspect of Hampton’s post war political career is that he ran his campaigns from an infamous brothel in Columbia, SC called the “Big Brick House” - his stated reasoning was to assure “privacy”. I think it somewhat fitting for a politician to be based out of brothel.
Next are a few photo’s of the completed brigade, including General Hood himself. During this year’s challenge 4 of the 5 infantry regiments were painted along with the 2 guns and crews. The brigade consists of in the front row, from left to right, Hampton’s artillery battery, the 1st Texas (completed during last years Challenge) and general Hood. The second row features the 4th Texas and 18th Georgia regiments. The back row has the 5th Texas and, finally, Hampton’s Legion.
I’ve really enjoyed building out the brigade. It’s one of three full brigades I’ve completed for my Confederate army, with the other two being the Stonewall brigade (everyone has that one) and a generic brigade that has more of a Western theater feel to it.
The command of Hood’s brigade at my upcoming game at Historicon this year will be reserved for any Challenge participants that make their way to the con. Of course, if you prefer the side of the Union, there’s always the Iron Brigade or even the Irish brigade awaiting your orders!
Wow, what a great accomplishment Miles! I've heard of Hampton's Legion but I was not aware of his chequered past - a great unit to finish off with. Also, I'm really delighted to see the whole brigade all arrayed and ready for action. Very, very impressive.
Hampton's Legion, his final unit to this project, will give Miles 121 points which is enough for him to exceed his Challenge points target. Well done and congratulations Miles!
Okay, a few posts ago I had given warning that once Miles had completed this segment of his ACW project I would submit something to mark the occasion and make you all laugh. So, to keep that promise and in recognition of Miles' dual achievements below is a picture of me from many, many moons ago when I worked in Biloxi Mississippi at the Beauvoir Museum (it was taken for a newspaper article and my boss, the head curator at that time, is seen loading his musket next to me). While I was down there I re-enacted with a wonderful group of folks from the 3rd Miss. and managed to take in many, many ACW events in the South. As you can see I was rather hirsute back then (I remember taping a couple mock arrows to my chest and going as Custer during Halloween that year). My wife laughs looking at this photo as she has borne witness to the inexorable 'deforestation' of my locks and tresses. Nonetheless, those were very good times and I grin whenever I see this picture.
Yeah, laugh it up people...