Thursday, April 21, 2011

Civil War Quiz Now Closed

Thanks to those who participated.

Although Williamsport, PA sounds like the most logical answer (45% of you guessed that), the real answer is St. Albans, VT.

Staying in a local hotel and checking in two or three at a time in the days leading up to what's known as the St. Albans Raid, Confederate Lt Bennett H. Young and 20 Confederate Cavalrymen (identifying themselves as sportsmen from Canada), the men struck on the afternoon of October 19, 1864. While eight or nine Confederate soldiers rounded up the townspeople and held them at gunpoint in the town common, Young and his men proceeded to rob the town's three banks before stealing horses from the townspeople and fleeing back across the Canadian border with his men and with more than $200,000. They intended to torch the village as well, but the incendiary devices that Young's men failed to go off properly, and only a woodshed was burnt down that day.

Young- a former Union POW- had managed to escape to neutral Canada and suggested the raid as a means of sowing panic and diverting resources among the Union, linking up with other Confederate escapees to carry out the raid. Most of the men were arrested in Montreal shortly after the raid, but at the time the Canadian courts decided the men were belligerents in a war they were officially neutral in and would not be extradited to the Union- although some $80,000 found on the men at the time of their arrest was ordered returned to St Albans.

Some 36% of you correctly guessed St Albans, so assuming you didn't look it up on Google or Wikipedia, congratulations! You really know your Civil War (and New England) history!

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