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Combahee River Raid Tour

Jun 29, 2016

In June, Eric Poplin was pleased to lead a small tour featuring the history of the Combahee River Raid. The tour coincided with the 2016 National Underground Railroad Conference on Hilton Head Island. On the night of June 1-2, 1863, a Federal raiding force led by the 2nd SC Volunteer Infantry (African Descent) and guided by Harriet Tubman ventured up the Combahee River in lower South Carolina. Tubman gathered intelligence prior to the raid and spread the word for action among the enslaved laborers on Combahee River plantations. She helped keep people calm as they fled to the Union gunboats, which carried over 700 enslaved people to freedom. It was one of the largest single events of emancipation in South Carolina or the nation.

This tour was a follow up to the paper Dr. Eric Poplin and Carol Poplin presented at the 2013 National Underground Railroad Conference. The tour group included Charles Bogguess of the Mitchelville Preservation Project, Cheryl LaRoche, an independent Harriett Tubman and Reconstruction archaeologist and researcher, Iris Taylor of the Library of Congress, and Edda Fields-Black of the University of Pittsburgh. The boat was provided by Botany Bay Eco-Tours with Captain Meg Hoyle at the wheel.


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