City Directories and History: The Millwood site is the ruins of the first Millwood. Built sometime after 1815, most likely in the 1830s, Millwood was an ambitious Greek Revival mansion with a central pile and matched wings. In February 1865, General W. T. Sherman’s troops burned the house, leaving only chimneys, foundation piers and twelve brick pillars. The house had, of course, been frame. The ruins also
include the ruins of a smokehouse and a wine-house. Millwood was originally the home of Colonel Wade Hampton II, a famous sportsman and horseman of the first half of the nineteenth century. He was, in the winter of 1835, heir of one of the largest fortunes in America, that of his father General Wade Hampton. Hampton II became well known for his hospitality, his horses and his famous friends. He died in 1858, $300,000 in debt. His son, Wade Hampton III, was a general in the Confederate army. While the home belong to Hampton III’s unmarried sisters, General Sherman burned it down as a symbol of the leadership of Hampton. Hampton III later emerged to serve as Governor and as U.S. Senator, dying in 1902. Listed in the National Register March 18, 1971. [Courtesy of the SC Dept. of Archives and History]
Yorkville Enquirer, Wednesday, July 29, 1863: 1st Cavalry casualties (Gettysburg)
Gen. Wade Hampton reached his home on Friday, July 24th with severe wounds that did not appear to be life threatening.
“The house at Millwood named no doubt because of its proximity to the Hampton and Goodwyn mills was built at the time of the marriage of Colonel Wade Hampton II (1791-1858) and Ann Fitzsimons who was the daughter of a wealthy Charleston merchant, Christopher Fitzsimons.
From his father he inherited the plantations in Richland District. Colonel Hampton was a substantial planter before his father’s death, owning 146 slaves in 1830. “At magnificently and elegantly furnished Millwood which was built in the grand manner of the storied southern planter, he accumulated a great library, spared no expense in lavishly entertaining and maintained a racing establishment which for many years made him preeminent on the South Carolina turf.” There are no pictures of Millwood in existence and all that was left, after it was burned in 1865, were the massive columns which still stand. An interesting letter written from Columbia, August 6,1842, from John Temple Seibels to his wife Mrs. Ann Seibels gives us these facts: “Mr. and Mrs. Smith and myself rode out to Millwood yesterday afternoon, but found no person at home, and none of us carried any cards. Mr. Smith gave the servant a small basket that Miss Harriet Hampton had a few days ago carried some figs into his wife and said that would answer for his card. We called for water and the servant brought us some in a large cut glass pitcher and 3 silver goblets. The yard was spread all over with white sand like that at the horse pond, and not a chip nor a stone to be seen in it and under the house sanded in like manner. We then rode to Woodlands, his father’s residence and from thence through the plantation.”
After Colonel Wade Hampton’s (1791-1858) death, Wade Hampton III (1812-1902) assumed specific debts and acquired lands in Mississippi, but he built a home, Diamond Hill, in what is now the Forest Hills section of Columbia. His four sisters became owners of the Millwood property. The plantation contained 1079 acres and thirty-nine slaves. Woodlands and the Machines became the property of Frank Hampton I. On March 22,1865, after Millwood and Diamond Hill lay in ashes.”
Information from: Names in South Carolina by C.H. Neuffer, Published by the S.C. Dept. of English, USC
“Hampton, Col. Frank of “Woodlands” plantation and Cashiers Valley, N.C., summer resort. Bom June 19, 1829 (S.C.); married Dec. 12, 1855, Sarah Strong Baxter (Jan. 14, 1833-Sept. 10, 1862); died June 9, 1863. Church: Episcopalian (doubtless, Vestryman, Trinity, Columbia). Public Service: Colonel; Director, Bank of the State of S.C. (Columbia branch). Slaves: 210 (Richland District).”
The Last Foray, C. Gaston Davidson, SC Press – 1971
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