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DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY -- NAVAL HISTORICAL CENTER
805 KIDDER BREESE SE -- WASHINGTON NAVY YARD
WASHINGTON DC 20374-5060

Online Library of Selected Images:
-- SHIPS --

Steamship Planter (1860-1876);
Confederate Army transport Planter (1861-62);
USS Planter (1862);
U.S. Army ship Planter (1862-65?).

Planter, a 300-ton side-wheel steamship, was built for commercial use at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1860. In 1861- 62, she served the Confederate Army as an armed transport and dispatch vessel. On 13 May 1862, her pilot, Robert Smalls, boldly steamed her past the Charleston fortifications and turned her over to Federal forces blockading that port. With Planter, Smalls brought several other slaves and a cargo of four guns. He, and the other black crewmen, were awarded half the value of their ship and its cargo.

Planter operated as a unit of the U.S. Navy's South Atlantic Blockading Squadron during 1862. Later in that year, she was transferred to the U.S. Army. Following the Civil War, Planter returned to commercial service. She was lost in 1876.

This page features views related to the steamer Planter.

If you want higher resolution reproductions the Online Library's digital images, see: "How to Obtain Photographic Reproductions."

Click on the small photograph to prompt a larger view of the same image.

Photo #: NH 74054

Steamship Planter (1860-1876)


Loaded with 1000 bales of cotton, at Georgetown, South Carolina, probably in 1860-61 or 1866-76. She was a side-wheel steamer, built at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1860. In Confederate Army service in 1861-62, she was turned over to the Federals by her pilot, Robert Smalls, on 13 May 1862 and served in the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Army before returning to commercial use in 1866.

Courtesy of E.D. Sloan, Jr., 1971.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 70KB; 740 x 570 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 63568

Confederate Army armed transport Planter (1861- 62)


A side-wheel steamer, built at Charleston, South Carolina, in 1860, Planter was run out of Charleston and delivered to the Federals in the early morning of 13 May 1862 by her pilot, Robert Smalls, a slave. She also brought several other black men, women and children to freedom.
Planter subsequently served in the U.S. Navy.

Engraving published in Harper's Weekly, 14 June 1862.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 77KB; 590 x 635 pixels

 


The following photograph show Planter's wartime pilot, Robert Smalls:

Photo #: NH 58870

Robert Smalls


Pilot of the Confederate Army armed transport Planter, who ran his ship out of Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, in the early morning of 13 May 1862 and delivered her to Federal forces. The Planter carried several other black men, women and children to freedom in this daring escape.

Engraving published in Harper's Weekly, 1862.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 108KB; 590 x 665 pixels

 
Photo #: NH 66586

Robert Smalls


Pilot of the Confederate Army armed transport Planter, who ran his ship out of Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, in the early morning of 13 May 1862 and delivered her to the Union forces.
This engraving shows Smalls some years after 1862.

U.S. Naval Historical Center Photograph.

Online Image: 77KB; 520 x 765 pixels

 

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10 November 1998