Harriet the Spy: How Tubman Helped the Union Army
Most people know her as a former slave that freed others. During the Civil War, Harriet Tubman was also a secret spy and military leader.
In 1863, Harriet Tubman led soldiers with Colonel James Montgomery to raid rice plantations along the Combahee River in South Carolina. They set fire to buildings, destroyed bridges, and freed many of the slaves on the plantations.
When slaves saw Tubman’s ships with black Union soldiers on board, they ran towards them as their overseers helplessly demanded that they stay. One overseer reportedly yelled “See you to Cuba!” (At the time, Confederates were trying to spread a rumor that the Union would ship runaway slaves to Cuba to work on sugar plantations.)
Tubman, who will replace President Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill, is most known to Americans for leading hundreds of slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad.