Michigan in the Civil War

Browse by Name: Hampton, Cornelia C.

Hampton, Will E., 1864-1959.

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The papers of this Charlevoix, Mich., newspaper editor include "A Saga of Secession Days in the Southern States," the personal recollection of Mrs. Cornelia C. Hampton, wife of Dr. Carlos D. Hampton, and mother of Will E. Hampton, as told to him and taken down in shorthand, and later printed in his paper, the Charlevoix Courier.

Starting from Lenawee County, Michigan on October 1, 1858, with a three horse team, Doctor and Mrs. Hampton and their three sons drove to St. Louis, boarded a freight boat and went down the Mississippi River to Gaines Landing, drove across Arkansas to Sulphur Springs, Texas, and eventually bought 160 acres of land six miles from Black Jack Grove, in hope of starting a stock farm.

Doctor Hampton practiced medicine and taught school for a year. Then he had to go North for supplies. Rumors began to spread that he had gone to obtain arms and ammunition and poison to distribute to the Negroes. People believed him to be a "black abolitionist" and they were determined he must leave the state or join the Rebel army. Troubles began for him and his family and any neighbors who befriended them. They suffered some harrowing and outrageous experiences at the hands of Texas Secessionists until Doctor Hampton, saying he was going to join the Rebel army, escaped into Arkansas where he joined the 9th Illinois Cavalry. In 1864 he enlisted as assistant surgeon in the 4th Michigan Infantry, and was mustered out in May 1866.

Mrs. Hampton tells in great detail their experiences. When the abuse became too great and frightening, she and the boys left Texas in a lumber wagon on the pretext of visiting her husband in the Rebel army and eventually reached Hudson, Mich., their old home, on December 14, 1865.

The collection also includes correspondence and miscellaneous papers chiefly relating to Carlos D. Hampton's service as surgeon in the 4th Michigan Infantry.

This collection is available on microfilm for interlibrary loan.

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