Tuesday, October 19, 2010

The Confederate Raid In The North

The Civil War moved north on October 19th 1864 during the St Albans Raid in Vermont.

The raid started with a Confederate force organized by George Sanders and led by Bennett H Young. Young had been captured during Morgan’s Raid in Ohio. He escaped into Canada, and latter back into the south. Young suggested raids on the Union launched from the Canadian border, stealing money to help fill the Confederate treasury’s coffers and to pull Union troops from the south to protect the northern boarder. Young was given a commission to Lieutenant and he returned to Canada to recruit other escaped Confederates.

On October 10th 1864 Young and two other raiders checked into a St Albans, Vermont hotel about fifteen miles from the Canadian border. They told people they were in town from St John’s Canada for a “sporting vacation”. The rest of Young’s recruits drifted in a few at time until there were 21 Confederates in town on October 19th 1864. Just before 3 pm Young mounted the steps of the hotel and yelled “this city is now in the possession of the Confederate States of America”! A group of the Confederates robbed three banks steeling $208,000. While the banks were being robbed some of the Confederates held townspeople on the village green while they stole horses. One St Albans resident was killed and one was wounded. Young gave an order to burn the town down, but they only managed to destroy one woodshed.

One of the raiders was wounded and latter died. The rest of the Confederates fled into Canada where they were arrested by Canadian authorities. A Canadian court found that the men were acting under military ordered, and as a neutral country could not extradite them back to the United States. The raiders were set free. Canada returned $88,000 that they found on the Confederates to Vermont.

Young would receive a promotion to General. He visited Montreal Canada in 1911, and a group of dignitaries from St Albans went to Canada to meet with him at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

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