Johnson Hagood
80th Governor of South Carolina
In office
December 1, 1880 – December 1, 1882
LieutenantJohn D. Kennedy
Preceded byThomas Bothwell Jeter
Succeeded byHugh Smith Thompson
20th Comptroller General of South Carolina
In office
December 14, 1876 – December 1, 1880
GovernorWade Hampton III
William Dunlap Simpson
Thomas Bothwell Jeter
Preceded byThomas C. Dunn
Succeeded byJohn C. Coit
Personal details
Johnson Hagood

(1829-02-21)February 21, 1829
Barnwell, South Carolina
DiedJanuary 4, 1898(1898-01-04) (aged 68)
Barnwell, South Carolina
Political partyDemocratic Party
Spouse(s)Eloise B. Butler
Alma materThe Citadel
ProfessionPlanter, soldier, politician
Military service
Allegiance Confederate States of America
Branch/service Confederate States Army
Years of service1861–1865
RankBrigadier general
Unit1st South Carolina Infantry
Battles/warsAmerican Civil War

Johnson Hagood (February 21, 1829 – January 4, 1898) was a planter, soldier and military officer in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War, reaching the rank of Brigadier General in the state militia and regular Confederate Army in 1862.

After the war, he became a politician in the Democratic Party. After being elected in 1876 as Comptroller General and serving a term to 1880, he was elected after the Reconstruction era as the 80th Governor of South Carolina, serving a standard two-year term from 1880 to 1882.[1]

Early years

Born in 1829 in Barnwell, South Carolina to a planter family, Hagood attended the private Richmond Academy in Augusta, Georgia. He attended the South Carolina Military Academy (now The Citadel), graduating in 1847 at the top of his class. He was admitted to the bar in 1850, but never practiced law because he preferred the life of a cotton planter, attending to his plantation acres and the work of enslaved African Americans.

Civil War

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Hagood volunteered and was enlisted a private of the First South Carolina Volunteers. He demonstrated remarkable skills in the military arts and rose rapidly through the ranks of the enlisted and subsequently as an officer. By 1862, due to his bravery in the field and considerable administrative acumen in camp, he was appointed a Brigadier General and Assistant Adjutant General of the South Carolina Militia. His first commission in the Confederate States Army was as a colonel in the 1st (Hagood's) South Carolina Infantry. He participated in the Battle of Fort Sumter and the Second Battle of Bull Run, receiving appointment to brigadier general, effective July 21, 1862.[2]

During the 1864 Overland Campaign, Hagood brought a brigade north to Petersburg, Virginia, and fought under Major General Robert F. Hoke in the battles of Drewry's Bluff and Cold Harbor. He and his men served in the entrenchments at the Siege of Petersburg until December 1864, when Hoke's Division was ordered to the relief of Fort Fisher. Hagood commanded Fort Anderson during the Battle of Wilmington.

Battle of Fort Wagner and later surrender

After defeating Colonel Robert Gould Shaw and the all-black 54th Massachusetts Regiment at the second Battle of Fort Wagner in July 1863, commanding Confederate General Johnson Hagood had the bodies of nearly all the dead Union officers returned to their lines, as was customary. But he deliberately had Shaw's body buried in a mass grave with his black soldiers, which was considered an insult. Like many Confederate officers, he believed that the African-American soldiers were fugitive slaves and characterized the attack on the fort as a slave revolt led by Shaw. Hagood reportedly told a captured Union surgeon that ordinarily the officer's body would have been released for burial, but said, "We buried him with his niggers."[3]

At the end of the war, Hagood's troops were serving under General Joseph E. Johnston in North Carolina. He may have surrendered with Johnston at Durham Station in April, 1865, although Hagood's brigade was then commanded by its senior colonel at the time.[4] No record of Hagood's parole has ever been found.[5]

Postbellum political career

After the war, Hagood resumed operating his plantation. Like other planters, he struggled with the change to free labor after slaves were emancipated. Many freedmen who had been associated with his plantation continued to work for him, but others left for towns and urban areas.

He resented the administration of Radical Republicans during Reconstruction. He actively campaigned for fellow Confederate general Wade Hampton in the 1876 gubernatorial contest and was elected on the Democratic state ticket as Comptroller General. The campaign season was marked by white violence against freedmen, to suppress their voting and defeat Republicans, and many county returns were noted for fraud, where intimidation of freedmen had continued by Democrats at the polls.

Hagood served one term. In 1880, he was nominated by the state Democrats for Governor and easily won the gubernatorial election that fall, as Democrats again suppressed black voting and the federal government had withdrawn its troops in 1877. Hagood's major achievement in his two-year term, to December 1882, was the reopening of The Citadel in 1882.[6]

Hagood died in Barnwell on January 4, 1898. He was buried at Church of the Holy Apostles Episcopal cemetery.

Legacy and honors

See also


  1. ^ "BG Johnson Hagood". The Citadel Alumni Association. Archived from the original on January 19, 2019. Retrieved February 7, 2021.
  2. ^ Eicher, p. 272.
  3. ^ Burchard, Peter (1989). 'One Gallant Rush': Robert Gould Shaw and his Brave Black Regiment. New York: St. Martin's Press. pp. 143. ISBN 0-312-04643-X.
  4. ^ Bradley, p. 292
  5. ^ Eicher, p. 272; Warner, pp. 121-22.
  6. ^ Begley, Paul. "Hagood, Johnson". South Carolina Encyclopedia. Archived from the original on March 19, 2020.


Party political offices
Preceded by
Wade Hampton III
Democratic nominee for Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Hugh Smith Thompson
Political offices
Preceded by
Thomas Bothwell Jeter
Governor of South Carolina
Succeeded by
Hugh Smith Thompson