This Day in History: 0000-05-13

13 May – With 15 other slaves on board, black slave and ship’s pilot Robert Smalls stole the former US gunship CSS Planter, navigated through Confederate coastal defenses, and surrendered the ship to the Union Army at Fort Pulaski in Georgia (1862). He was later given command of the USS Planter, the first black man to command a US Navy ship.