Robert Smalls

Civil War hero, politician
Born: 1839
Birthplace: Beaufort, South Carolina

Smalls was a slave and a pilot of the steamboat Planter, a 300-ton armed vessel. In 1862, while the white crew was ashore, Smalls took the Planter across Union lines. He also gave the Northern commanders information about Confederate positions. Hailed as a hero in the North, Smalls received $1,500 and was made a second lieutenant in the Union's Colored Troops. After the war, Smalls became a South Carolina official and was a Republican Congressman.

Died: 1915