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Robert Smalls

Robert Smalls

Do students know that Robert Smalls was hailed as a hero during the Civil War?

Robert Smalls, who was born into slavery in South Carolina, was drafted for service in the Confederate Army. He was assigned to pilot a Confederate ship that was used to transport guns and ammunition.

In May 1862 the black crew, led by Smalls, hijacked the ship and turned it over to the Union Navy.

Smalls and his actions were celebrated by the North. He supported the Union and used his knowledge of the South Carolina Sea Islands to advance the Union Army in several battles.

After the war he became involved in political issues and was elected to represent a South Carolina district in the United States House of Representatives where he served five terms.

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