Smalls(smôlz), Robert 1839-1915.
American Union soldier and politician. After being forced to serve in the Confederate Navy, he took command of a ship and delivered it to Union forces. Smalls subsequently became a captain (1863-1866) and the highest-ranking African-American officer in the Union Navy. He later served as a US representative from South Carolina (1875-1879 and 1882-1887).