|St. Albans Raid|
|Part of the American Civil War|
St. Albans bank tellers being forced to pledge allegiance to the Confederacy
|United States of America||Confederate States of America|
|Lt.. Bennett H. Young|
|no military resistance||21 cavalrymen|
|Casualties and losses|
|1 civilian killed
2 civilians wounded
USD 120,000 stolen, net
Template:Campaignbox New England Theater of the American Civil War The St. Albans Raid was the northernmost land action of the American Civil War, taking place in St. Albans, Vermont on October 19, 1864.
In this unusual incident, Bennett H. Young led Confederate States Army forces. Young had become a prisoner of war after the Battle of Salineville in Ohio ended Morgan's Raid the year before; he later escaped to Canada (then the Province of Canada, part of the British Empire) and returned to the South, where he proposed raids on the Union from the Canadian border to build the Confederate treasury and force the Union Army to protect the northern border and divert troops from the South. Young was commissioned as a lieutenant and returned to Canada, where he recruited other escaped rebels to participate in a raid on St. Albans, Vermont, a quiet town 15 miles (25 km) from the Canadian border.
Young and two others checked into a local hotel on October 10, saying that they had come from St. John's in Canada East for a "sporting vacation." Every day, two or three more young men arrived. By October 19, there were 21 cavalrymen assembled. Just before 3 p.m. the group simultaneously staged a robbery of the three banks in the town. They announced that they were Confederate soldiers and stole a total of $208,000. As the banks were being robbed, eight or nine of the Confederates held the townspeople prisoner on the village green as their horses were stolen. One townsperson was killed and another wounded. Young ordered his troops to burn the town down, but the four-ounce bottles of Greek fire they had brought failed to work, and only one shed was destroyed.
The raiders fled with the money into Canada, where they were arrested by authorities. A Canadian court decided that the soldiers were under military orders and that the officially neutral Canada could not extradite them to the United States. The Canadian court's ruling that the soldiers were legitimate military belligerents and not criminals, as argued by American authorities, has been interpreted as a tacit British recognition of the Confederate States of America. The raiders were freed, but the $88,000 the raiders had on their person was returned to Vermont.
There was a film made in 1954 loosely based on this incident, The Raid.
See also[edit | edit source]
Further reading[edit | edit source]
- Kazar, John D. "The Canadian View of the Confederate Raid on Saint Albans," Vermont History 1964 (1): 255-273,
- Stouffer, Allen P. "Canadian-American Relations in the Shadow of the Civil War," Dalhousie Review 1977 57(2): 332-346
- Wilson, Dennis K. Justice under Pressure: The Saint Albans Raid and Its Aftermath (1992). 224 pp.
[edit | edit source]
- The St. Albans raid
- St. Albans Raid: Spies, Raiders and Partisans
- Raise The Flag & Sound The Cannon, a historical novel based on the St. Albans Raid by Donald Davison
- Chickasaw, The Elixir of Love, a Canadian musical comedy about the St. Albans Raid, based on the book Raise the Flag & Sound The Cannon. Stage play by Roger de la Mare, lyrics by Graham Hardman, music by Donald Patriquin.