[Vision2020] [CORRECTED] From Deckhand to Hero

Tom Hansen thansen at moscow.com
Mon Sep 17 18:16:05 PDT 2007

The Army's (that's right, ARMY's) largest ship as been christened the "MG
Robert Smalls (LSV 8)".


More about Major General Robert Smalls

>From the Army Times -


>From deckhand to hero

Slave pirated rebel ship; new Army vessel named for him
The Army's largest ship was to be commissioned Sept. 15, and named after a
former slave who became the first black captain of a vessel in service of
the U.S., according to the Army Reserve.

The Maj. Gen. Robert Smalls Logistics Support Vessel was to be commissioned
at Baltimore's Inner Harbor during a ceremony.

Smalls was hired in 1861 as a deckhand on Planter, a steamer serving Brig.
Gen. Roswell Ripley, commander of the 2nd Military District of South
Carolina, according to:


Early on May 13, 1862, while the crew was ashore, Smalls commandeered the
ship in a daring escape. Smalls, then 23, piloted the ship, loaded with
armaments for the rebel forts, and gave the correct whistle signal as he
passed each rebel fort.

Smalls sailed to the nearest Union blockading ship and surrendered Planter
to the Union Navy.

Smalls was hailed as a hero by President Abraham Lincoln, and he later
became Planter's captain. He became a major general in the South Carolina
militia, helped write the constitution for the state in which he was a
slave, and served five terms as a U.S. congressman.

The $25 million Maj. Gen. Robert Smalls LSV is the first Army ship to bear
the name of a black man and the first named for a Civil War hero. The naming
of the ship can be credited to Kitt Haley Alexander, who met Dolly Nash,
Smalls' great-granddaughter.

Alexander, who was pursuing a master's degree in fine arts and photography,
asked Nash if she could photograph her, and through their collaboration,
Alexander's thesis was about Smalls. Since then, she has waged a campaign to
have a ship named for Smalls. 

The ship is the largest of the Army's 70 oceangoing vessels at 314 feet long
and 60 feet wide, and it will be manned by the Army Reserve's 203rd
Transportation Detachment of Curtis Bay, Md.


Seeya round town, Moscow.

Tom Hansen
Moscow, Idaho

"We're a town of about 23,000 with 10,000 college students. The college
students are not very active in local elections (thank goodness!)."

- Dale Courtney (March 28, 2007)

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