A Rare Confederat State of America Civil War Envelope
A rare Confederate Civil War Frank, written in blk ink (recto) addressed to: Lieutenant Field of Hampton Legion, South Carolina Volunteers, Gary’s Cavalry Brigade, Richmond, Virginia. Scarce Town marking of Arnold’s Mills, South Carolina; dated as received (verso) May 2, 1863 in lead pencil. A lovely hand cancelled ten cent greenish-blue Jefferson Davis Confederate States Stamp [A6 fine] issued on April 1863. Soldier's Envelope, 3 x 5 1/2 used, with full flap possibly hand made with rich age-toning and light staning seen. Overall, fine condition.
Hampton's Legion was an American Civil War military unit of the Confederate States of America, organized and partially financed by wealthy South Carolina plantation owner Wade Hampton III. Initially composed of infantry, cavalry, and artillery battalions, elements of Hampton’s Legion participated in virtually every major campaign in the Eastern Theater, from the first to the last battle.
Organized by Wade Hampton in early 1861, Hampton's Legion initially boasted a large number of South Carolina's leading citizens, including future generals J. Johnston Pettigrew, Stephen Dill Lee, Martin W. Gary, and Matthew C. Butler. Originally, the Legion comprised six companies of infantry, two of cavalry, and one of light artillery.
The infantry and cavalry fought in the First Battle of Manassas, where Colonel Hampton suffered the first of several wounds during the war. In November 1861, the artillery was then outfitted with four Blakely Rifles, imported from England and slipped through the Union blockade into Savannah, Georgia.
By the end of the year, each element of the Legion had been expanded with new companies to bolster the effective combat strength.
With the reorganization of the Army of Northern Virginia in mid-1862, Hampton's Legion was broken up and reassigned. The cavalry battalion was consolidated with the 4th South Carolina Cavalry Battalion and two independent companies on August 22, 1862, and became the 2nd South Carolina Cavalry under Colonel Butler. It remained directly under General Hampton's control and served in his brigade and then division for the rest of the war.
The artillery was converted to horse artillery and renamed Hart's Battery, after its commander, Capt. James F. Hart. Lt. Colonel Gary's infantry element, retaining the designation Hampton's Legion, was initially brigaded with Georgia troops in Stonewall Jackson's command, but was transferred in June to John Bell Hood's "Texas Brigade." The Legion served in General Longstreet's Corps through mid-1863 before being transferred with that Corps to the Army of Tennessee in September.
On March 11, 1864, the infantry was Mounted and assigned to General Gary’s Cavalry Brigade and served in the Department of Richmond until January, 1865 when it was transferred to the Cavalry Corps, Army of Northern Virginia.
What was left of the Hampton Legion infantry surrendered with General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House in early April 1865. The South Carolina cavalry regiment and the horse artillery (by then renamed as Halsey's Battery after Hart's wounding) participated in the Carolinas Campaign with General Hampton and surrendered at Bennett Place in North Carolina along with the rest of General Joseph E. Johnston's forces on April 26.