Visitors to Oyotunji Kingdom find it deeply inspiring to visit the Harriet Tubman site. Each month many families take this pilgrimage to reconnect with the stories of their ancestors who were denied freedom but were freed near this spot. Harriet came ashore with a Full African American militia and dealt a massive blow to the Confederates. Each visit to the Combahee river those who wish to bring flowers and other offerings are encouraged to do so. You can hear the ancestors voices. Reach out and caress your loved ones as you pay tribute.
The day of the raid
On June 2, 1863, Harriet Tubman led 150 black Union soldiers, who were part of the U.S. 2nd South Carolina Volunteers, in the Combahee River Raid and liberated more than 700 enslaved people. Tubman, often referred to as “the Moses of her people,” was a former slave who had fled to freedom in 1849. Throughout the 1850s, she returned to her native Maryland to bring other enslaved people north into freedom, first to Pennsylvania and then eventually to Canada. Tubman had worked mainly through the Underground Railroad in the 1850s. By 1862, however, she left her home in Auburn, New York to work in the Union-occupied Hilton Head area of South Carolina as a nurse and spy during the Civil War. In 1863, Colonel James Montgomery asked her to lead a secret military mission against Confederates in South Carolina. With the support of Union gunboats, she and members of the 2nd South Carolina Volunteers traveled into Confederate territory to free enslaved people and destroy wealthy rice plantations. Some of the formerly enslaved men were recruited into the army. On the night of June 1, 1863, three federal gunboats set sail from Beaufort, South Carolina traveling up the Combahee River. Tubman had gained vital information about the location of rebel torpedoes planted along the river from slaves who were willing to trade information for freedom. Because of this information, Tubman was able to steer the Union ships away from any danger. She led the ships to specific spots along the shore where fugitive slaves were hiding and waiting to be rescued. At first, many of the slaves were frightened by the Union soldiers’ presence, but Tubman was able to convince them to come aboard.