After Du Pont's failed attack on Charleston, Robert Smalls returned to the steamer Planter and resumed his duties as pilot.
He went with the Planter when it was reassigned to the U.S. Army to transfer troops and supplies. Military authorities placed Robert Smalls in command of Planter on 1 December 1863, after the steamer's former commander (a Captain Nickerson) supposedly hid in the coal bunker during an engagement.
Smalls remained in command of Planter until the steamer was decommissioned in 1866.
Image: From Harper's Weekly, 14 June 1862, the caption reads: "Robert Smalls Captain of the Gun-Boat 'Planter'" (Hagley Digital Archives)