1847 Kentucky Raid: The Underground Railroad and Fugitive Slave Law in Cass County, Michigan.
What was the Kentucky Raid?
In August of 1847 a group of thirteen Kentucky slave catchers arrived in Cass County. They broke into smaller parties and proceeded to various Quaker farms, including the Bogue, East, Osborn and Shugart properties, capturing nine fugitives.
What city was the Underground Railroad in?
As Foner details in his new book, Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad, New York was a crucial way station from the Upper South through Pennsylvania and onward to upstate New York, New England and Canada.
What was the Kentucky Raid of 1849?
The Kentucky Raid Angered Southern Slave Owners They lobbied for Congress to pass a stricter law to protect the runaway slaves that they viewed as their “property”. This law made it permissible for slave catchers to capture runaway slaves who were on free soil… living in Northern states that outlawed slavery.
What was the Kentucky Raid of 1847?
The Fugitive Slave Law required everyone to report runaway slaves and assist in their capture. The arrival of slave catchers in Cass County was known as the “Kentucky Raid of 1847,” a name that reflects local outrage and the perception of an invasion.
What states was the Underground Railroad in?
These were called “stations,” “safe houses,” and “depots.” The people operating them were called “stationmasters.” There were many well-used routes stretching west through Ohio to Indiana and Iowa. Others headed north through Pennsylvania and into New England or through Detroit on their way to Canada.
Were there tunnels in the Underground Railroad?
Contrary to popular belief, the Underground Railroad was not a series of underground tunnels. While some people did have secret rooms in their houses or carriages, the vast majority of the Underground Railroad involved people secretly helping people running away from slavery however they could.
Which state has the most Underground Railroad routes?
That network became known as the Underground Railroad. Although there were Underground Railroad networks throughout the country, even in the South, Ohio had the most active network of any other state with around 3000 miles of routes used by escaping runaways.
Where did Harriet Tubman free 700 slaves?
Breadcrumb. On June 2, 1863, Harriet Tubman, under the command of Union Colonel James Montgomery, became the first woman to lead a major military operation in the United States when she and 150 African American Union soldiers rescued more than 700 slaves in the Combahee Ferry Raid during the Civil War.
Where is the Combahee River in South Carolina?
The Combahee River (/kəmˈbiː/ kəm-BEE) is a short blackwater river in the southern Lowcountry region of South Carolina formed at the confluence of the Salkehatchie and Little Salkehatchie rivers near the Islandton community of Colleton County, South Carolina.
How old would Harriet Tubman be today?
Harriet Tubman’s exact age would be 201 years 10 months 28 days old if alive. Total 73,747 days. Harriet Tubman was a social life and political activist known for her difficult life and plenty of work directed on promoting the ideas of slavery abolishment.
1847 Kentucky Raid
“The Kentucky Raid” is a historical novel about a group of people who go on a scavenger hunt in Kentucky (From History of Cass County from 1825 to 1875 – by Howard S. Rogers 1875) The South Bend Fugitive Slave Trial was held in South Bend, Indiana. A fugitive slave trial was held in South Bend, Indiana, in 1848, two years after the Cass County Kentucky Raid of 1847. There were a lot of the same gamers participated in both attacks, rescuing their friends and neighbors from danger. This raid, which also resulted in a favorable judgment in favor of the freedom seekers, served as a catalyst for the passage of the 1850 strengthened Fugitive Slave Law.
Helen Hibberd Windle of South Bend, Indiana, compiled the list.
Local artist Ruth Andrews came up with the concept for the mural, which was painted by Ruth and a large number of volunteers throughout the summer 2010 and launched it in October 2010.
The opening panel depicts a group of freedom seekers attempting to cross the Ohio River.
- The third depicts a group of Quakers and other abolitionists facing slave catchers and their nine prisoners at O’Dells Mill in Vandalia, Illinois, with the intention of settling the matter in court.
- The nine abducted slaves, as well as thirty others, were able to escape through the Underground Railroad to Schoolcraft, Battle Creek, and eventually Canada.
- “The Kentucky Raid” is a historical novel about a group of people who go on a scavenger hunt in Kentucky.
- Wright Modlin of Williamsville and William Holman Jones of Calvin Township were local slaverunners who traveled to Bourbon County, Kentucky, and brought enslaved men and women back to Cass County.
- They believed their slaves were hiding among the Quakers in Cass County, and they hoped to regain them by rescuing them.
- They divided into smaller groups and traveled to a number of Quaker estates, including the Bogue, East, Osborn, and Shugart holdings, where they apprehended nine fugitives and seized their property.
- At O’Dells Mill in Vandalia, a dispute erupted, and the Kentuckians displayed firearms in the process.
In spite of the fact that they were outnumbered, and in light of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793, they consented to travel to Cassopolis and stand trial.
The Kentuckians were had to post a bail in order to avoid being arrested.
Eventually, the trial resumed.
During the course of the trial, allegations were brought against the Kentuckians by Quakers, free blacks, and fugitives.
The UGRR, which carried the released hostages as well as thirty-four other fugitives, set off for Canada.
There was a lot of pressure on the Southern states to enact a more strict Fugitive Slave Law, which was approved by Congress in 1850, making it much more perilous to be a freedom seeker or to house one.
Nicholson, William Jones, and Commissioner Ebenezer Mcllvain-filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court in Detroit seeking the ‘value of their property.’ The case was settled out of court.
In 1854, he assisted in the formation of the Republican (anti-slavery) Party, and while serving as a United States Senator during the American Civil War, he drafted the Thirteenth Amendment, which abolished slavery.
Nicholson, a conclusion that did not sit well with the Quakers, particularly Stephen Bogue.
Nicholson, on the other hand, agreed to pay all court expenses, which totaled more than $2000.
Once again, the Kentuckians received little in return for their efforts.
The failure of these measures to defuse tensions between the North and the South over slavery ultimately resulted in the American Civil War.
Courtnee Anderson contributed to this article.
Also included is an account of a second “Kentucky Raid” trial that took place in South Bend, Indiana, but that had freedom seekers and inhabitants of Cass County as participants. The Underground Railroad Society of Cass County, Michigan is a non-profit organization. urscc.org
After the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman Led a Brazen Civil War Raid
They dubbed her “Moses” because she was responsible for bringing enslaved individuals from the South to freedom in the North. The Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman, on the other hand, battled against the system of slavery far beyond her function as a conductor for the Underground Railroad. During the Civil War, while serving as a soldier and spy for the Union Army, Harriet Tubman made history by being the first woman to command an armed military action in the United States, known as the Combahee Ferry Raid.
Tubman had traveled to Hilton Head, South Carolina, at the request of Massachusetts Governor John Andrew, leaving her family behind in Auburn, New York, and having established herself as a prominent abolitionist in Boston circles.
Tubman Becomes Military Leader
The Union troops used Harriet Tubman as a spy and militia commander during the Civil War, and she was awarded the Medal of Honor. Photograph courtesy of the Hulton Archive/Getty Images She worked as a laundress, opened a wash house, and worked as a nurse for many months before being ordered to join an espionage organization. As the leader of the Underground Railroad, Tubman had proved herself to be a great asset in terms of acquiring covert information, recruiting allies, and evading capture.
According to Brandi Brimmer, a history professor at Spelman College and expert on slavery, “her first and main priority would be to combat and eliminate the system of slavery and, in doing so, to definitively defeat the Confederacy.” Tubman collaborated with Colonel James Montgomery, an abolitionist who led the Second South Carolina Volunteers, a regiment comprised primarily of African-American soldiers.
Together, they devised a plan for a raid along the Combahee River, with the goal of rescuing enslaved people, recruiting freed soldiers into the Union Army, and destroying some of the richest rice fields in the surrounding area.
According to Kate Clifford Larson, historian and author of Bound for the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero, “She was daring and courageous.” “She had a keen sense of what was going on.
Overnight Raids Launch From the River
Two more gunboats,the Sentinel and the Harriet A. Weed, were guided out of St. Helena Sound and into the Combahee River by Tubman and Montgomery, who were on board the government cruiser theJohn Adams on the night of June 1, 1863. The Sentinel became aground while on its way to the destination, forcing men from that ship to transfer to the other two boats. Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom, written by Catherine Clinton, describes how Tubman, who was illiterate, could not record any of the information she acquired since she couldn’t write.
- It was necessary for them to transport gunboats up the river, according to Clinton.
- A few hours later, the John Adams and the Harriet A.
- Tubman commanded a force of 150 soldiers on the John Adams in pursuit of the fugitives.
- Rebels attempted to track down the slaves by shooting their weapons at them.
- As the fugitives made their way to the coast, Black troops in rowboats ferried them to the ships, but the operation was marred by confusion.
- More than 700 people managed to escape enslavement and board the gunboats.
Confederate forces also disembarked near Field’s Point, where they set ablaze plantation after plantation as well as fields and mills, warehouses, and mansions, resulting in a humiliating setback for the Confederacy that included the destruction of a pontoon bridge by gunboats.
Tubman Was Recognized a Hero (But Not Paid)
Two more gunboats,the Sentinel and the Harriet A. Weed, were guided out of St. Helena Sound and into the Combahee River by Tubman and Montgomery, who were on board the government cruiser theJohn Adams. Aground on the way, the Sentinel forced personnel from that ship to disembark and board the other two vessels. Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom, written by Catherine Clinton, describes how Tubman, who was illiterate, could not record any of the information she collected. As a result, she committed everything to memory, directing the ships towards key places along the beach where fleeing slaves were waiting and Confederate property could be destroyed, all while steering the steamers away from known torpedoes.
- A few hours later, the John Adams and the Harriet A.
- To apprehend the fugitives, Tubman led 150 men on the John Adams.
- A group of rebels attempted to apprehend the slaves by opening fire on them with their weapons.
- Black troops in rowboats conveyed the fugitives to the ships as they fled to the coast, but the procedure was marred by confusion.
- Tubman did not know the region’s Gullah dialect, so he sang in English.
- Ashore near Field’s Point, troops set fire to plantations, farms, mills, warehouses, and mansions, resulting in a humiliating setback for the Confederacy, which included the destruction of a pontoon bridge that had been shot to pieces by the gunboats.
Village of Vandalia, Michigan – Kentucky Raid of 1847
The Kentucky Raid in Cass County, Kentucky, in 1847 was notable for several reasons. During the Easter vacation in the spring of 1847, twelve African Americans from Kenton and Boone Counties were able to liberate themselves from the servitude of Kentucky farmers who had been holding them captive. The African Americans followed a strategy that they devised in order to secretly abandon the fields where they had been slaves and trek the twelve miles to Covington, Kentucky, where they were freed.
- These freedom-seekers did what the majority of enslaved African Americans were forced to do in order to liberate themselves from slavery.
- When freedom-seekers came to Cincinnati from the free side of the Ohio River, lookouts from black villages in the vicinity of the river would normally welcome them and organize for their safe transit to hiding spots.
- Perry Sanford, an African-American who arrived in Cass in 1847, recalled that two men approached them as they stepped off of the boat and introduced themselves.
- The men were successful in concealing everyone in the party in various locations.
- The group arrived in Cass County in approximately three weeks, and the majority of them were offered positions on Quaker farms in the Penn, Porter, and Calvin Townships, among other places.
- The slaveholders in Boone and Kenton counties plotted their own conspiracy to capture the persons who had emancipated themselves from slavery.
- After speaking with residents of Cass County, “Carpenter” went to Kentucky and provided the slaveholders with the knowledge they needed to make their decisions.
One of the Cass County Quakers recognized “Carpenter” in the courtroom in Detroit and claimed that he had spoken with him about “runaways in the region”!
Charles Osborn relocated to Cass, where he lived with his son Josiah and his family at the time.
Osborn relocated to Cass.
Following his relocation to Penn Township, Rev.
A strong anti-slavery stance was taken by this new Meeting, and it was this group of Quakers that was instrumental in advancing the anti-slavery movement in Cass County.
The members of the Birch Lake Quaker Meeting in Cass who joined the Young’s Prairie Anti-Slavery Friends Meeting were expelled from the meeting.
Despite the fact that William Holman Jones and David Thompson Nicholson were both punished by the Kentucky authorities for assisting the freedom-seekers in their escape, neither Jones nor Nicholson belonged to the Society of Friends.
Henry Shepard was his given name.
Several black males stood up to the intruders and fought back as the raiders sought to grab and shackle them in the process.
There may have been a lot of casualties if it had spread.
More than 100 blacks and whites from adjacent farms gathered to hear Josiah’s offer of a compromise to the Kentuckians and the assembled throng.
All of the people were relieved after Osborn’s appeal, and they all proceeded to the Cass County Courthouse.
The nine people who were taken, as well as thirty-four others, were able to flee Cass within a few days of the raid.
Their links to the nine persons the Kentuckians attempted to apprehend were strong among all of them.
Would they have departed if they had been free individuals?
Even when the Kentuckians returned home empty-handed, they vented their rage at the “scoundrels” who had prevented them from reclaiming their “property.” Their concerns were published in local newspapers, sent to the Kentucky legislature, and even made it to the floor of the United States Congress in Washington.
By the time the second trial was held in the United States Circuit Court in Detroit, a new Fugitive Slave Law had been passed, and the Kentuckians had won their battle against the abolitionists from Cass County.
According to Dr.
Purchase of a black and white copy is available for $5.00 + $1.50 postage and handling ($2.00 if you want to mail it to Canada).
For a copy of the document, please contact the Minority Coalition of Cass County at PO Box 413 in Cassopolis, MI 49031. (by sending a check or money order and your complete address and phone number).
The Combahee Ferry Raid
On This Particular Day Tuesday, June 2nd, 2016 This Day in History Tuesday, June 2nd
Aboard the Underground Railroad- John Brown Farm and Gravesite
|The John Brown Farm HouseJohn Brown StatueNHL-NPS Photos|
The Missouri Raid
In December 1858, John Brown led a small group of men across the Missouri border from Kansas and into Missouri, where they raided two anti-slavery homesteads, stealing property and freeing slaves. Brown considered the expedition a resounding success, and it raised his expectations for a greater invasion against Virginia that he planned in the future. But he was also faced with a difficult task: he was responsible for the care of eleven liberated slaves, all of whom needed to be transported to Canada.
- A deliberate manoeuvre, intended to confuse those who were following Brown’s activities, it had been executed (plans for the raid had been leaked).
- With distinction, Brown achieved his purpose; news of his Missouri attack circulated swiftly, and he was once again featured prominently in the national press.
- President Buchanan went so far as to offer a $250 prize for the apprehension of John Brown.
- Brown had a limited number of abolitionists to turn to for assistance.
- Only a small number of people supported the taking of life.
- As one of the settlers observed, “He could deliver a blow and then walk away.
- When they took refuge at a bar during a blizzard, word of their presence spread like wildfire across the community.
We were a group of 22 males, all of them were black and white.
They were in as excellent a position as any eighty-man team could hope for.
In the end, the thugs escaped, with three of them being apprehended.
They managed to elude arrest by a mix of cunning and good fortune.
While traveling around Eastern Europe, Brown discovered an increasing number of individuals who were sympathetic to what he had done.
The abolition of slavery in the South by John Brown appeared to be an appropriate reaction.
On behalf of the residents, Congregational preachers expressed compassion and support to Brown, and the town’s founder, Joseph Grinnell, contributed money and supplies.
At that point, the investigator Allan Pinkerton gathered more than $500 for Brown and arranged for another freight train that would transport them all the way to Detroit.
On March 12, 1859, after eighty-two days and more than a thousand miles of arduous travel, John Brown said goodbye to the rescued party of thirteen (which included a baby born along the route) as they boarded a boat heading for freedom in the Canadian province of Ontario.
|Harriet Tubman, often called the“conductor” of the Underground Railroad, accompanied Colonel James Montgomeryand the 2nd South Carolina regimentduring the June 1863 raids on the CombaheeRiver rice plantations.Tubman was a runaway slave and a major conductor on the underground railroadwho helped dozens of enslaved blacks escapeand led them to sanctuaries in the Northern states and in Canada.In an 1886 biography of Harriet Tubman, Sarah Hopkins Bradford described her asa “fearless woman … often sent into the rebel lines as a spy” by Unioncommanders, even though she was in constant danger of being captured andexecuted, or re-enslaved, every time she ventured into Confederate territory.Based on oral testimony, reportedly from Tubman herself, Bradfordclaimed that Major-General David Hunter asked the woman known as Moses toaccompany the Union gunboats on raids that were intended to “take up thetorpedoes placed by the rebels in the river, to destroy railroads and bridges,and to cut off supplies from the rebel troops.” Tubman agreed, but only “ifColonel Montgomery was to be appointed commander of the expedition. ColonelMontgomery was one of John Brown’s men, and was well known to Harriet.Accordingly, Colonel Montgomery was appointed to the command, and Harriet, withseveral men under her…accompanied the expedition.”Bradfordfurther claimed that Tubman gave detailed descriptions of the plantations andthe slaves who absconded to join the black soldiers conducting the expedition.“…the word was passed along by the mysterious telegraphic communicationexisting among these simple people, that these were ‘Lincoln’s gun-boats come to set them free.’In vain, then, the drivers used their whips in their efforts to hurry the poorcreatures back to their quarters; they all turned and ran for the gun-boats.They came down every road, across every field, just as they had left their workand their cabins; women with children clinging around their necks, hanging totheir dresses, running behind, all making at full speed for “Lincoln’sgun-boats.” Eight hundred poor wretches at one time crowded the banks,with their hands extended toward their deliverers, and they were all taken offupon the gun-boats, and carried down to Beaufort. ‘I nebber see such a sight,’said Harriet; ‘we laughed, an’ laughed, an’ laughed. Here you’d see a woman wida pail on her head, rice a smokin’ in it jus’ as she’d taken it from de fire,young one hangin’ on behind, one han’ roun’ her forehead to hold on, ‘totherhan’ diggin’ into de rice-pot, eatin’ wid all its might; hold of her dress twoor three more; down her back a bag wid a pig in it. One woman brought two pigs,a white one an’ a black one; we took ’em all on board; named de white pigBeauregard, and de black pig Jeff Davis. Sometimes de women would come widtwins hangin’ roun’ der necks; ‘pears like I nebber see so many twins in mylife; bags on der shoulders, baskets on der heads, and young ones taggin’behin’, all loaded; pigs squealin’, chickens screamin’, young ones squallin’.’And so they came pouring down to the gun-boats. When they stood on the shore,and the small boats put out to take them off, they all wanted to get in atonce. After the boats were crowded, they would hold on to them so that theycould not leave the shore. The oarsmen would beat them on their hands, but theywould not let go; they were afraid the gun-boats would go off and leave them,and all wanted to make sure of one of these arks of refuge.”For further reading see Sarah H.Bradford (Sarah Hopkins), b. 1818,Harriet,the Moses of Her People.New York:Published for the author by George R. Lockwood and Son, 1886. Electronicedition by Documenting the American South. 1998. University Library, TheUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill,2004):. Seealso: Charles P. Wood, “Manuscript History Concerning the Pension Claim ofHarriett Tubman,” June 1, 1888, and included in House of Representatives(HR) 55A-D1, Papers Accompanying the Claim of Harriett Tubman, Record Group223, National Archives and Records Administration, Washington, D.C., 1899;Anonymous, “Colonel Montgomery’s Raid…,”Wisconsin State Journal ,Madison, Wisconsin, June 20, 1863; Catherine Clinton,Harriet Tubman: TheRoad to Freedom (New York:Little, Brown and Co., 2004); and a lively but less critical biographicalportrait by Kate Clifford Larson,Bound for the Promised Land: HarrietTubman, Portrait of an American Hero(New York, NY: Ballantine Books,2004). For a digitized source drawing on Earl Conrad, “General Tubman: Campaignon the Combahee,”The Commonwealth, Boston,July 10, 1863,see.|
John Brown and the Underground Railroad
After leading a small group of men across the Missouri border from Kansas, John Brown launched an attack on two anti-slavery homesteads, seizing property and freeing slaves. This was an absolute success for Brown, who used it to raise his expectations for a greater expedition against Virginia that he had in the works. The fact that he had eleven emancipated slaves in his custody and needed to transport them to Canada presented him with a difficulty. During the time when his Boston backers, the “Secret Six,” were raising funds to fund their raid on Harpers Ferry, Brown was transported to Kansas.
- To disassociate himself from Harpers Ferry at the very least geographically, Brown was instructed to travel to Kansas and make his presence known.
- During the raid, a man was slain and Brown was framed for both murder and theft, leading to his expulsion from the organization.
- When Buchanan was apprehended, Brown reacted with a sarcastic $2.50 reward.
- Despite widespread agreement on the ills of slavery, there were significant differences of opinion on the most effective means to put an end to the institution.
- Aside from that, violence between proslavery and free-soil forces had almost completely halted in Kansas; Brown’s actions threatened to rekindle an outbreak of violent vengeance against him.
- We would be the ones to take the retaliation hit.” Brown and the freed slaves started off on their journey on January 20, 1859, walking through a hard prairie winter while avoiding arrest.
- A member of Brown’s team would later write about the ensuing altercation: “There were perhaps 80 thugs waiting for us at the ford, which we discovered after we crossed.
We descended upon them in a cavalcade.
They went further away from us as we drew closer.” John Brown’s name was shrouded in fear at the time.
“Old Captain Brown is not to be seized by ‘boys,’ and he cheerfully urges all anti-slavery men to try their hand at capturing him,” the Leavenworth “Times” reported at the time.
The Underground Railroad provided them with safe haven when it was possible.
Infuriated by the Runaway Slave Law, which authorized Southern bounty hunters to seize fugitive blacks from free states and return them to slavery in the South, abolitionists fought to repeal it.
The caravan arrived in Grinnell, Iowa, on February 25 and was greeted with enthusiasm.
Their journey from West Liberty to Chicago began on March 9 in a boxcar.
On March 12, 1859, after eighty-two days and more than a thousand miles of arduous travel, John Brown said goodbye to the rescued party of thirteen (which included a baby born along the route) as they boarded a boat heading for freedom in the Canadian province of Manitoba.
Combahee River Raid (June 2, 1863) •
The Second South Carolina Volunteers were ambushed and captured. Page 429 of Harper’s Weekly, published on July 4, 1863. The Combahee River Raid, commanded by Harriet Tubman and 150 black Union troops who were members of the United States 2nd South Carolina Volunteers, took place on June 2, 1863, and resulted in the liberation of more than 700 enslaved persons. The former slave, Harriet Tubman, was referred to be “the Moses of her people” after she escaped to freedom in 1849. Throughout the 1850s, she returned to her home state of Maryland to assist in the emancipation of other enslaved people, first to Pennsylvania and subsequently to Canada.
- By 1862, however, she had left her home in Auburn, New York to serve as a nurse and spy in the Union-occupied Hilton Head area of South Carolina during the Civil War, a move that cost her her life.
- She and soldiers of the 2nd South Carolina Volunteers ventured into Confederate territory with the assistance of Union gunboats in order to free enslaved people and damage affluent rice farms.
- Three federal gunboats set sail from Beaufort, South Carolina, during the night of June 1, 1863, with the goal of going up the Combahee River.
- Tubman was able to direct the Union ships away from any potential threat as a result of this intelligence.
- Many of the slaves were initially scared by the presence of the Union soldiers, but Tubman was able to persuade them to board the ship in the end.
- The boats, on the other hand, were also assigned a definite military purpose.
- Numerous Union troops who participated in the invasion were former slaves who regarded the burning and pillaging of these estates as a chance to exact vengeance on the ruling elite.
Hundreds of slaves, including women and children, were able to flee their masters’ custody.
They were only able to prevent one slave from getting to the gunboats by executing her before she could get away.
When it comes to the American Civil War, Harriet Tubman is the only woman known to have been in command of a military mission.
The Raid on the Combahee River dealt a devastating military and psychological blow to the Confederate effort.
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a raid against the Second South Carolina Volunteers was launched Page 429 of Harper’s Weekly, published on July 4, 1863 A raid on the Combahee River, conducted by Harriet Tubman and 150 black Union troops who were members of the United States 2nd South Carolina Volunteers, resulted in the abolition of slavery for almost 700 persons on June 2, 1863. The former slave, Harriet Tubman, was referred to as “the Moses of her people” after her escape to freedom in 1849. Her journey back to her home state of Maryland continued during the 1850s, where she helped other enslaved individuals escape to freedom, first in Pennsylvania and subsequently in Canada.
- As a nurse and spy during the Civil War, she left her home in Auburn, New York, in 1862, to serve in the Union-occupied Hilton Head region of South Carolina, where she remained until 1865.
- She accepted the assignment.
- Men who had previously been held as slaves were recruited into the army in this period of history.
- Using slaves who were prepared to barter information in exchange for freedom, Tubman was able to obtain critical information regarding the location of rebel torpedoes hidden along the river’s banks.
- She directed the ships to precise locations along the beach where fleeing slaves were hiding and waiting to be rescued, which she described in detail.
- With each trip up river by “Lincoln 's gunboats,” a greater number of slaves were freed, and finally 750 people boarded the ships.
- As they approached the coast, they brought Union forces who were successful in razing numerous important South Carolina estates held by notable secessionists, including the Heyward, Middleton, and Lowndes families’ plantations.
Most of the damage had been done by the time Confederate soldiers were informed of the attack.
It was decided to send a company of Confederate forces to confront the raiders, but they were unsuccessful.
The Confederate artillery proved to be almost as useless, as none of the rounds fired by the Confederates struck any of the gunboats during the campaign.
Union boats and over 700 slaves fled uninjured, including 100 men who went on to join the Union Army, in large part because of information she supplied.
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Source of the author’s information:
As clouds danced across the starry sky on the night of June 2, 1863, three gunboats snaked up the Combahee River in South Carolina’s Lowcountry region, escorting the Confederate army. During this time, the Civil War was raging, and the warships were crammed with Union troops, many of them belonged to the 2nd South Carolina Colored Infantry, who were on a mission to attack Confederate plantations. Harriet Tubman, a black woman who was already well-known for her daring forays into enemy terrain, was on hand to help them through this treacherous journey.
From Underground Railroad to Union Spy
Tubman, who was born into slavery and is the subject of the soon-to-be-released film Harriet, was able to free herself in 1849 by traveling north from bondage in Maryland to freedom in Philadelphia, where she eventually settled. Despite the fact that she was a fugitive with a price on her head (her former slaveholder had promised $50 for her capture and $100 if she was discovered outside of Maryland), Tubman returned to Maryland on numerous occasions to assist other slaves in their escape northwards along the Underground Railroad, a clandestine network of people, both black and white, who facilitated the escape of enslaved people northwards.
- Tubman is estimated to have liberated around 70 slaves in this manner, and by the end of the Combahee River Raidon that June night in 1863, she had assisted in the liberation of over 750 more slaves.
- Tubman agreed, and he traveled to the South in 1861.
- When she wasn’t working as a nurse for troops and freed slaves at Fort Monroe, Virginia, she went to Port Royal, South Carolina, where she volunteered.
- A wash house was also built under her supervision so that she could teach African American women to work as laundresses, a skill that would be helpful when they launched on a new, free chapter of their life.
- Tubman’s wartime exploits are detailed in Stealing Secrets:How a Few Daring Women Deceived Generals, Impacted Battles, and Altered the Course of the Civil War, by Donald Winkler.
- were a cover for her real work as a spy operating within hostile lines.” It is probable, according to Tubman biographer Catherine Clinton, author of Harriet Tubman: The Road to Freedom, that Tubman was dispatched to the South, at least in part, in order to gather intelligence.
“Certainly she was someone who was able to go behind the lines and make contact in a way that the soldiers were not.” Tubman had demonstrated her ingenuity, charm, and steely resolve as an Underground Railroad savior time and time again, sneaking into slavery country and back out again with a group of fugitives in tow.
- Rescues were staged on Saturday evenings since Sunday was a day of relaxation; by the time they were reported missing on Monday, Tubman had a head start on the search and rescue operation.
- Clinton says in her book that when on a tour through a hamlet near her previous Maryland home, Tubman happened to see a man who had formerly been her master, and she recognized him.
- When the guy got too close, Tubman yanked on the cords linked to the birds’ legs, causing them to fret and flap—and providing her an opportunity to avoid making eye contact with the stranger.
- She was given the moniker “Moses” in honor of the biblical hero who led the downtrodden to liberation.
- It was she who assembled a small but reliable squad of black scouts, some of them were water pilots with extensive knowledge of the coastal area, to assist her in her mission.
As Winkler points out, Colonel James Montgomery, an outspoken opponent of slavery, relied on Tubman’s knowledge to conduct a number of successful enslavement raids. The Combahee River Raid was the most well-known of these raids.
Tubman’s Turn to Lead
In order to do this, the mission’s objectives included destroying Confederate supply lines, disabling mines in the Combahee River, and crippling lucrative estates along the beach. Similarly to what Tubman demonstrated with her Underground Railroad rescues, “the main weapon was to go into enemy territory and deploy the subversive weapon of the enslaved people themselves,” according to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As a result, if all went according to plan, Tubman and Montgomery hoped to liberate the slaves on the plantations as well.
- Tubman and her team of spies had surreptitiously sailed up the Combahee before the fatal night in order to chart the locations of rice and cotton storehouses in the area.
- It was critical to get the word out about the forthcoming raid so that the slaves would be prepared to flee when the time came.
- The ships were guided through the minefield by Tubman, who was there since it was a dark and gloomy night, making it impossible to see the mines.
- One of the three Union gunboats came to a halt after running aground, but the other two were able to continue their journey as scheduled.
- The bridge was destroyed by Montgomery’s forces.
- And as soon as the gunboats got close, slaves poured onto the shore, where rowboats were prepared to transport them to the ships waiting offshore.
- “I’d never seen anything like it before,” she subsequently recounted.
According to The New York Times, individuals who were left behind attempted to hold on to the vessels in order to prevent them from departing.
Her dislike for the phrase—”hey wasn’t my people any more than they were his,” she once said—didn’t stop her from starting the song, which went as follows: “Come along; come along; don’t be alarmedFor Uncle Sam is rich enoughTo give you all a field.” Her tone of speech had the desired result.
All of this uproar did not go unnoticed by the Confederate forces on the battlefield.
During the outbreaks of malaria, typhoid disease, and smallpox that occurred from late spring through early fall, most Confederate forces were forced to withdraw from the rivers and wetlands, according to Winkler.
Major Emmanuel, the highest-ranking Confederate commander in the region, pursued the retreating ships with a single piece of field artillery, but his troops were entangled between the river and Union snipers and were forced to surrender.
In other words, the operation was a big success, and Tubman’s assistance was “invaluable,” according to President Clinton. Tubman remained in the South for the following year, aiding in guerrilla efforts and attempting to support slaves who had been freed from slavery.
The expedition’s purpose was to damage Confederate supply lines, disable mines in the Combahee River, and bring down affluent farms along the shore. The operation was successful. Similarly to what Tubman demonstrated with her Underground Railroad rescues, “the main weapon was to go into enemy territory and deploy the subversive weapon of the enslaved people themselves,” according to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. As a result, if all went according to plan, Tubman and Montgomery hoped to liberate the slaves on the plantations as well.
- Tubman and her team of spies floated up the Combahee in stealth before the fatal night to identify the sites of rice and cotton storage facilities.
- It was critical to get the word out about the approaching raid so that the slaves would be prepared to flee if and when the time came.
- The ships were guided through the mines by Tubman, who was on hand to assist them because it was a dark and gloomy night.
- Following a run aground, one of the Union gunboats came to a halt, but the other two were able to continue their journey as planned.
- The bridge was destroyed by Montgomery’s troops.
- The slaves poured onto the coast as soon as the gunboats neared, where rowboats were ready to transport them to the ships.
- It was the first time she had ever seen something like it.
- In accordance with The New York Times, people who remained on board the vessels attempted to prevent them from departing.
Her dislike for the phrase—”hey wasn’t my people any more than they were his,” she once said—didn’t stop her from starting the song, which went as follows: “Come along; come along; don’t be alarmedFor Uncle Sam is wealthy enoughTo give you all a farm.” When she spoke, she achieved the desired result.
The Confederate forces were not unaffected by all of this uproar.
In the spring through early October, “malaria, typhoid disease, and smallpox were epidemic,” Winkler notes, “and most Confederate forces had been withdrawn from the rivers and swamps.” Combahee Ferry was approached by a detachment under instructions to push the Yankees back, but they were only able to kill one escaped slave, according to reports.
A few of bullets were fired, but all of them ended up in the sea.
In other words, the operation was a rousing success, and Tubman’s assistance was “invaluable,” according to Secretary of State Clinton. Tubman remained in the South for the following year, engaging in guerrilla actions and attempting to support slaves who had been freed by the Revolutionary War.