CHARLESTON, S.C. — It was 150 years ago this month that a slave conscripted into the Confederate Navy commandeered a supply boat in Charleston, ran it past Confederate batteries and turned it over to the federal blockade ships.

After the Civil War, Robert Smalls served in the state General Assembly, the U.S. Congress and became a federal customs inspector in Beaufort. For a time, he helped the Union in Philadelphia.

Next weekend marks the anniversary of Smalls' daring escape. A series of programs is planned in Charleston to celebrate his life.

Markers will be dedicated both where Small commandeered the CSS Planter and where he picked up family and friends at what is now Charleston's Waterfront Park.

The weekend concludes with a boat tour retracing the route Smalls took to freedom.