|St. Albans Raid|
|Part of the American Civil War|
St. Albans bank tellers being forced to pledge allegiance to the Confederacy,
|United States (Union)||CSA (Confederacy)|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Bennett H. Young|
|Casualties and losses|
|1 killed |
The St. Albans Raid was the northernmost land action of the American Civil War. It was a raid from Canada by Confederates designed to rob banks. It took 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, 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 for a "sporting vacation". Every day, two or three more young men arrived. By October 19, twenty-one cavalrymen had assembled. Just before 3 p.m. the group simultaneously staged robberies 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 and took their horses. One townsman was killed and another wounded. Young ordered his men 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 authorities arrested them. 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. Canada freed the raiders, but returned to Vermont the $88,000 they had on their persons.
The 1954 film The Raid was loosely based on this incident.
Only one of the banks still stands: the Franklin County Bank, which became the Franklin Lamoille Bank and is now a Toronto-Dominion Bank branch. Other sites surviving are Taylor Park and the American House.
- Campi, James (2007). Civil War Sites, 2nd: The Official Guide to the Civil War Discovery Trail. Globe Pequot. pp. 11. ISBN 0-7627-4435-9. http://books.google.com/books?id=iLYhJ7ZOh8sC&pg=PA11.
- 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.
- Rush, Daniel S. and Pewitt, E. Gale "The St. Albans Raiders" (2008) Riedel, Leonard W. ed. McNaughton and Gunn, Saline Michigan.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to St. Albans Raid.|
- The St. Albans raid
- St. Albans Raid: Spies, Raiders and Partisans
- Newspaper article providing an eyewitness account of the St. Albans Raid
- Raise The Flag & Sound The Cannon, a historical novel based on the St. Albans Raid by Donald Davison
- A musical comedy about the St. Albans Raid, Waiting on a Dream, is 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.
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