Wade Hampton III (March 28, 1818 – April 11, 1902) was an American military officer who served the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War and later a politician from South Carolina. He came from a wealthy planter family, and shortly before the war he was one of the largest slaveholders in the Southeast as well as a state legislator. During the American Civil War, he served in the Confederate cavalry, where he reached the rank of lieutenant general.

At the end of Reconstruction, with the withdrawal of federal troops from the state, Hampton was leader of the Redeemers who restored white rule. His campaign for governor was marked by extensive violence by the Red Shirts, a paramilitary group that served the Democratic Party by disru