Ship Taken by Slaves in 1862 Found in South Carolina

Robert Smalls and other slaves sailed their way to freedom.

Posted: 05/14/2014 01:07 PM EDT
Ship Taken By Slaves in 1862 Found in South Carolina

A Civil War-era ship that a group of African-Americans took to sail to freedom in 1862 has been found off of the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. marine archaeologists believe.

Researchers report the ship's remains are likely buried off Cape Romain, where it sunk in 1876.

Robert Smalls, a slave who was assigned to steer the Confederate ship Planter, was deemed a hero after he took the watercraft, sailed it past Confederate forces and to the Union Army. The vessel was also carrying Smalls's family and other slaves. 

Tuesday, May 13, marked the 152nd anniversary of the voyage. 

"This story has had a lot of resonance, particularly in the Lowcountry communities, places where people still know Robert Smalls's story," Bruce Terrell, senior archaeologist with NOAA’s Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, told Reuters

Smalls later became the captain of the Planter in 1863, the first African-American to command a U.S. ship. He was also elected as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives and South Carolina Senate. 

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(Photo: US Navy)

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