Skip to main content

Red Shirts


RED SHIRTS. Even though they wore shirts of various colors, this name was given to Democrat Wade Hampton's supporters, who in 1876 helped the former Confederate general become governor of South Carolina. Their core consisted of 290 clubs, composed of 14,350 men. They intimidated black voters and joined Hampton parades on foot or on horses or mules. Hundreds of uniformed blacks also joined Democratic parades in support of Hampton. Some thought Hampton, a paternalist, would bring peace and an end to corruption; others were bribed or intimidated into wearing red shirts. White and black Red Shirts also participated in Hampton's reelection in 1878.


Drago, Edmund L. Hurrah for Hampton: Black Red Shirts in South Carolina During Reconstruction. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 1998.

Simkins, Francis Butler, and Robert Hilliard Woody. South Carolina During Reconstruction. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1932.

Zuczek, Richard. State of Rebellion: Reconstruction in South Carolina. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1996.

Edmund L.Drago

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Red Shirts." Dictionary of American History. . 17 Apr. 2019 <>.

"Red Shirts." Dictionary of American History. . (April 17, 2019).

"Red Shirts." Dictionary of American History. . Retrieved April 17, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.