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The Freedom To Lead

A Dose of Morning Motivation

The Story

The Freedom to Lead

Minty peered into the darkness from the bow of the steamboat, relaying precise directions to the captain. She was watching for keg mines anchored along the shore of the river. They were almost impossible to spot and would kill a careless crew and captain. One by one she identified them and navigated their steamboat safely through the river.

The captain guided the steamboat to shore. Two other steamboats followed under Minty’s leadership.

When the boats had safely crossed and the soldiers were ready, she gave the order. “Attack!”

Union soldiers stormed out from the steamboats, and the assault in the heart of the deep south began.

Minty went ashore as the steamboats blared their whistles. She watched as hundreds of slaves sprinted from the undergrowth and onto the steamboats that the Union soldiers had exited.

They carried what little they owned. Some carried gunny sacks with squealing pigs and squawking chickens. One woman ran down the hill with a steaming pot of rice. Children clung to the backs and necks of their parents.

Minty smiled with delight as the sounds of Union rifles in the distance covered their retreat.

A few Confederate soldiers tried to stop the rush but to no avail. They didn’t know the territory as well as Minty.

That night, 750 slaves were freed from the plantations along the river shore.

And on that night, Minty made history. She was the only woman to lead an armed assault during the Civil War.

Minty couldn’t help but remember her own days as a slave near the banks of that same river. She remembered the filthy dwellings, long days of hard labor… and the beatings…

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The Freedom To Lead was originally published in The Mission on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Author: The Mission

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