Tubman applied intelligence she learned as an Underground railroad conductor to lead the Combahee Ferry Raid that freed more than 700 from slavery.

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Tubman applied intelligence she learned together an Underground rail conductor to lead the Combahee Ferry Raid that freed an ext than 700 indigenous slavery.

They dubbed her “Moses” because that leading enslaved civilization in the southern to freedom up North. But Harriet Tubman fought the school of enslavement well past her duty as a conductor because that the underground Railroad. As a soldier and spy because that the Union military during the civil War, Tubman came to be the very first woman to command an equipped military procedure in the United says in what is recognized as the Combahee Ferry Raid.


By January 1, 1863, when the Emancipation Proclamation got in effect, Tubman had been in South Carolina together a volunteer because that the Union Army. V her household behind in Auburn, new York, and having created herself as a prominent abolitionist in Boston circles, Tubman, in ~ the inquiry of Massachusetts Governor john Andrew, had actually gone come Hilton Head, southern Carolina, which had actually fallen come the Union army early in the war.

Tubman Becomes military Leader


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During the polite War, Harriet Tubman served as a spy and also militia leader with the Union forces.

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For months, Tubman operated as a laundress, opening a to wash house, and serving together a nurse, until she was provided orders to form a spy ring. Tubman had actually proven it s her invaluable at collection clandestine information, developing allies and also avoiding capture, as she led the secret Railroad. In her brand-new role, Tubman assumed management of a secret military mission in southern Carolina’s low country.

“First and also foremost, her priorities would it is in to defeat and also destroy the mechanism of slavery and also in law so, to definitely defeat the Confederacy,” stated Brandi Brimmer, a chathamtownfc.net professor in ~ Spelman College and also slavery historian.


Tubman partnered through Colonel James Montgomery, one abolitionist that commanded the 2nd South Carolina Volunteers, a black color regiment. Together, the two planned a raid follow me the Combahee River, to rescue enslaved people, recruitment freed men into the Union Army and obliterate some of the wealthiest rice plantations in the region. 

Montgomery had approximately 300 men, including 50 from a Rhode Island Regiment and Tubman rounded up eight scouts, who helped her map the area and send word to enslaved civilization when the raid would certainly take place.

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“She to be fearless and she to be courageous,” stated Kate Clifford Larson, historian and also author that Bound because that the Promised Land: Harriet Tubman, Portrait of an American Hero. “She had actually a sensibility. She could get Black human being to trust her and the Union policemans knew that they were no trusted through the neighborhood people.”

Overnight Raids Launch from the River

The night that June 1, 1863, Tubman and Montgomery, top top a commonwealth ship the John Adams, led two other gunboats, the Sentinel and Harriet A. Weed, out of the St. Helena Sound in the direction of the Combahee River. En route, the Sentinel ran aground, leading to troops from that ship to carry to the various other two boats.

As explained in Catherine Clinton’s book, Harriet Tubman: The road to Freedom, Tubman, that was illiterate, couldn’t compose down any type of intelligence she gathered. Instead, she committed everything to memory, guiding the ships towards strategic points near the shore where fleeing servants were waiting and also Confederate property can be destroyed, every while top the steamers far from well-known torpedoes.