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Underground Railroad Research Forum

Re: HARRIET TUBMAN - Union Army Spy and Scout

Okay, I am a serious researcher and I am working on a publication right now about Montgomery's Raids. I have intentionally not included Tubman in my analysis because she DOES NOT APPEAR in the ORA or ORN records. Furthermore, the correspondence, including a first-hand account written by one of the officers, does not include Tubman at all! Okay, so we have Franklin Sanborn, Sarah Bradford, and an anonymous article (riddled with errors if it indeed is talking about Tubman and not "the black woman"). Where does that leave us? We have some fervent abolitionists filling in the gaps of history with rhetoric, first of all. Secondly, a less than descriptive letter from Montgomery in Wood's Manuscript History, thanking Tubman for her "service." But what does all of that mean? I firmly believe Tubman was there as a nurse and an aide to assist with the newly emancipated slaves. I disagree that she was needed as a scout for the Union Army and demanded Montgomery to General Hunter as the commander of the raid. Captain Ely of the expeditionary forces led intelligence and recon through the area as early as 1862. There were men working ahead of Montgomery readying the river for the Union expedition and why might you ask? As written by Lee himself in 1861, when he was ordering the protection of the Combahee River, the railroads. The only railroad that connected Savannah to Charleston ran through Colleton County. Why else? General Stanton and Hunter thought that hitting the planters, who were also Confederate soldiers, by stealing their slaves and burning their crops was the best way to demoralize the region. The raid also left Savannah and Charleston open for further attacks by Sherman's regiment. So, with that said, I have a hard time believing that Tubman "led" this raid.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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