Wade Hampton III was the only son of South Carolina’s largest slave-owner. From childhood he was trained to follow in his father’s footsteps. The family held vast tracts of land and occupied many of the state’s political offices. Young Wade was also handsome, charismatic, and full of derring-do. Long before he became a soldier, he had a reputation as a bear-killer. He was a legend long before he actually did anything to earn that reputation.
In the years leading up to the war, Hampton was against the dissolution of the Union, but once South Carolina took that fateful step, he supported his state. His military career started when the governor made him a Colonel and encouraged him to recruit a legion of 10,000 soldiers. He did so easily. Hampton made a brief appearance in "Damned Yankee" when Charlotte Grenville’s young husband became one of his recruits. Slightly later, Johnnie Grenville also joined Hampton’s Legion.
After the war, Hampton stepped out of the spotlight and turned his attention to rebuilding his family’s fortunes. He refused an offer to become Governor of the state, preferring to influence politics from a less visible position. But as Reconstruction proceeded, he took over leadership of the Democratic Party and gathered the support of many of the young men who had fought under him during the war. It should come as no surprise that Johnnie Grenville would be one of them.