Saturday, December 10, 2011

While we have written before on the alleged presence of African Americans among the Ku Klux Klan (see our article: ) we would like to bring to your attention the article below and its remarks on former slaves among Wade Hampton's Red Shirts in the reconstruction era.

EXCERPTS: Another side to the Story of Reconstruction -Part 31 by Bill Vallante

*Note – “Red Shirts” is a reference to the paramilitary rifle clubs used by Wade Hampton during his run for governor of South Carolina in 1876. The “clubs” were used to counter the tendency on the part of the Radical Republicans to use the (primarily black) state militia to enforce its will. There were also a number of black “Red Shirt Rifle Clubs”.

Beaufort South Carolina – 90% black. Hampton met at the station by a Red Shirt escort that included a contingent of blacks. Among these black Red Shirts may have been “the mounted black cadre”, a group that traveled to Join Hampton at some of his campaign stops around the state. Several in the cadre were black Confederate veterans. [Wade Hampton, Confederate Warrior, Conservative Statesman, Brian Cisco, P. 239]

"It's been a long time since I see you. Maybe you has forgot but I ain't forgot de fust time I put dese lookers on you, in '76. Does you 'members dat day? It was in a piece of pines beyond de Presbyterian Church, in Winnsboro, S. C. Us both had red shirts."
Ed Barber, South Carolina, (The Slave Narratives)"