June 2, 1863: Harriet Tubman Led Armed Raid, Rescued Over 700 Slaves

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June 2, 1863: In the early morning hours, Harriet Tubman guided three steamboats around Confederate mines in the waters leading to the shore. Once ashore, the Union troops set fire to the plantations, destroying infrastructure and seizing thousands of dollars worth of food and supplies.

When the steamboats sounded their whistles, slaves throughout the area understood that it was being liberated. Tubman watched as slaves stampeded toward the boats. “I never saw such a sight,” she said later, describing a scene of chaos with women carrying still-steaming pots of rice, pigs squealing in bags slung over shoulders, and babies hanging around their parents’ necks.

Although their owners, armed with handguns and whips, tried to stop the mass escape, their efforts were nearly useless in the tumult. As Confederate troops raced to the scene, steamboats packed full of slaves took off toward Beaufort.

More than 700 slaves were rescued in the Combahee River Raid. Newspapers heralded Tubman’s “patriotism, sagacity, energy and ability,” as well as her recruiting efforts – most of the newly liberated men went on to join the Union army.

 

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19 Comments

  • mackare jones June 2, 2017 - 12:41 am Reply

    Our history is liberated when we as Africans write or tell it.

  • Malik Z. Newton June 3, 2017 - 12:06 am Reply

    I give thanks to this strong lady for our rights & freedom.

  • Erica June 3, 2017 - 1:57 pm Reply

    Stories of strength, courage, determination, and standing for justice inspire us all.

  • Thaliba hakima umoja September 29, 2017 - 5:35 pm Reply

    I cuban and respect the corage of this woman,lets tell the young generation our black history so they can be proud of their legacy

    • Maria Vializ-R June 11, 2019 - 2:43 am Reply

      Amen.

  • Marko davis October 31, 2017 - 5:30 pm Reply

    That’s good we need a lot more of that especially in these hick townsn

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  • Marlon Robinson June 2, 2019 - 9:27 pm Reply

    I’m the liar and chief is doing everything he can to make sure that the slave liberated does not get on the $20 bill and the slave owner and Native American Destroyer Andrew Jackson remains on it!

  • Chet Kincade June 3, 2019 - 9:25 am Reply

    It would be nice if this story recognized that she rescued 700 PEOPLE. “SLAVES” are object. While some of our people were enslaved we were “NEVER
    SLAVES.” When stories are written depicting us as such it perpetuates the dehumanization of our ancestors and proves some are STILL SLAVE MINDED…

    • Chris Potter June 15, 2019 - 7:50 pm Reply

      Agreed! To make the story clear, some kind of reference is needed to specify what they were escaping from. It wasn’t a penal colony, for example. Involuntary servitude ?

      • Philip Chin June 26, 2019 - 7:45 pm Reply

        Chet Kincade, Chris Potter: Harriet Tubman = Private Jessica Lynch
        If you try to do what Tubman did back then without Internet, Facebook Twitter, electricity, or cars, you have to wonder how in the world did she communicate with her relatives they she supposedly freed?

        Harriet Tubman: Heroine or Hype?
        https://www.foundingfathers.org/Papers/Slavery/HarrietTubman.aspx

  • David Gooler June 3, 2019 - 3:02 pm Reply

    She found slaves, and rescued them as Free People. It is fortunate she did not join John Brown in his raid, she would have been killed or executed. Brown was heroic, but freed no one at Harper’s Ferry, the General freed hundreds

  • Joan June 3, 2019 - 5:19 pm Reply

    Harriot Tubman is an example of a hero…but mostly of what a brave good human being she was. Racism is evil..End it Now

  • Brenda K. Willis June 4, 2019 - 10:12 am Reply

    The more I learn about this lady, the more awesome I see that she is. I greatly love, admire & respect her. She is one of a kind.

  • Carla Cody June 5, 2019 - 2:10 pm Reply

    David Gooler I hope you read my reply…thank you is what I wanna say I will never say my people were slaves again, and perfect timing as i visit our Musuem this summer with my kid for the first time….

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  • Munmuni shamsudeen June 10, 2019 - 2:19 pm Reply

    Turbmam was among those who trully abolished slavery

  • Karimi githaka June 29, 2019 - 1:08 pm Reply

    If you see the torches in the woods,keep running,if you hear the dogs behind you,keep running,if hear shouting behind you,keep running,if you want a taste of freedom,keep running.

  • Suleh ndegwa June 30, 2019 - 4:19 am Reply

    Sulleh ndegwa
    Slavery is evil…white niggas will eventually pay

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