Sunday, August 5, 2007

The Faith of Wade Hampton

Wade Hampton’s world was crumbling around him. The army had just been forced back at Bentonville. In this final Confederate spring of 1865 the Southern cause was all but lost. No less bleak was Hampton’s own future. In February his home near Columbia had been torched by Federals, forcing his wife and their small children to flee. His sisters joined the throngs of homeless refugees after flames consumed their home, Millwood. Only a few months earlier Hampton had watched in horror as sons Preston and Wade were struck by bullets at Burgess’ Mill. Preston died there. Hampton’s brother Frank had been cut down at Brandy Station in 1863. The general himself had three times suffered terrible combat injuries. Yet through all the carnage and heartache and loss, Wade Hampton’s Christian faith remained unshaken.

He had just received a tearful letter from his youngest sister, Mary Fisher Hampton. She was distraught—nearly overcome with anxiety that her brother was about to be killed. Hampton responded in a patient and gentle letter dated March 30, taking time from his duties to encourage his sister’s faith and calm her fears.

“You must not worry & fret about me, for it grieves me greatly to think of you doing so. Your faith should be strong enough to make you know that God orders all things for the best. I am in His keeping & you should be quite content to trust me there. I hope & believe that He will keep me for those who are so dear to me & whose prayers go up so constantly for me. But I am sure that whatever happens, is wisely ordered. Let this hope sustain you: place your confidence in God, & having asked Him to answer your prayers, leave the issue to Him.”

South Carolina League of the South

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