U.S. Navy renaming ship after Robert Smalls

Robert Smalls
Robert Smalls
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 3:13 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The U.S. Navy is renaming one of its ships in honor of a local hero.

The USS Chancellorsville is being renamed in honor of Robert Smalls.

Smalls was a skilled ship pilot and statesman born into slavery in South Carolina.

Despite the odds, he became an expert navigator of southern coasts. The decision to name a warship after Smalls is part of a congressional mandate requiring the military to cut dies with Confederate names.