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HOW “UNPREPAREDNESS” UNDID ST. ALBANS
pressed he had gone to him with a sugges- be received with a smile and some with serition to swim his men and horses across the ous consideration. Young talked, too, with swollen river.
Seddon, the Confederate Secretary of War, I should lose half my command if I tried and of Seddon's connivance there is no doubt, that," objected Morgan.
for, after running the blockade again, Young “You'll lose it all if you don't," returned came back to Canada with a commission andan Young " Which is better ?”
order over the Secretary's signature to collect And, Morgan having surrendered, Young Confederate soldiers in Canada and to execute had gone along to prison with him, subse- such enterprises as may be intrusted to you." quently finding himself transferred to Camp At eleven o'clock one night, in a bedroom Douglas, from which he made his escape. of St. Lawrence Hall, Clay, having read the
Reaching Canada, Young had thrown him- order, drew a valise from under the bed, self into all the activities of the Confederates counted out $1,000 in United States currency, swarming there. He had played a promi- and told Young to “go ahead.” Later, he nent part in the attempt to release the issued to him a memorandum in which the Douglas prisoners on the day when the suggestion for a raid on “ towns in Vermont, Chicago Democratic Convention was nomi- commencing with St. Albans," was approved nating McClellan, and he had commanded and authorized. the little group who attempted a similar de- In the subsequent court preceedings this livery at Camp Chase. But what most con- memorandum, which played an important vinced Clay of his unflinching nerve was his part, was attacked by counsel for the United exploit in walking into Buffalo with $25,000 States as a forgery or as a document prein greenbacks for John Yates Beall, when pared especially for the court emergency, the Northern Secret Service men were clos- but Clay later admitted its authenticity. ing in on that desperate contriver to send Young's recruiting was swift. He enlisted him to the scaffold, and when more than one nineteen men. Some he found in Montreal, Southern operator in Canada had flatly re- but Clay's orders were positive that these fused the mission. Young was only twenty-one. must be taken over the line into the enemy's He was Fayette County bred, and he had been territory before they were formally enlisted. one of Morgan's hardest-riding troopers, but Perhaps these orders were obeyed, and perhe hated liquor, tobacco, and profanity. haps they were not. Certainly some of the
Young was arrogantly confident of the suc- raiders made the descent on St. Albans from cess of his St. Albans plan. He had seen Canadian territory. Other recruits Young raw Ohio militia run before nothing more secured in Chicago, Columbus, and Detroit. formidable than the “rebel yell” of Morgan's These were the boys who, with Young as men ; he had found it simple to elude the their head, set out upon what they called vigilance of the military and detective guards " the Vairmount Yankee scare party:" Squire on his various trips back and forth across the Turner Teavis, William T. Teavis, Alamanda
and he had seen much of the disaf- Bruce, Marcus Spurr, Charles Swager, Joseph fected population which made up the Vallan- McGorty, William H. Hutchinson, George digham faction of Ohio. He was contemptu- Scott, Caleb Wallace, James Doty, Samuel ous of the Yankees and all their works. Gregg, Dudley Moore, Samuel Lacky, Thomas Given Chenault's regiment, he was sure he Collins, John McInnis, Charles Higbie, Lewis could ride through all New England and Price, Daniel Butterworth, and John E. Moss. " take it home” with him. He did not find Several of the boys had been in Morgan's it hard to convince Clay.
command. McGorty and Higbie were the There is reason for believing that another ancients of the lot, for McGorty, a fighting partner to the St. Albans scheme was no less Irishman, was thirty-eight, and Higbie even a personage than Jefferson Davis, for at older. With the intolerance of youth for Richmond, where Clay sent Young by way age, Young, who attributed the failure at of the Bermudas and a blockade-runner, he Camp Douglas to “gray-haired wisdom,” had several consultations with the Confed- hesitated at taking this pair, but McGorty eracy's President. However, the boy's mind was an old fellow-campaigner who had hurried was filled with schemes for taking Buffalo, up from Danville, Kentucky, because he had Chicago, Milwaukee, a hundred different heard that Benny Young was at it again, and places along the frontier. He poured them Higbie was finally accepted because of his all into the Presidential ear, some of them to lively record as a member of Quantrell's
partisans. Of the rest there was not a man he took with him Collins, the daredevil, who over twenty-three.
had brought his contingent up from the South Young's plan of campaign was simple. through New York, and who had shown the His men were to make their way to St. conductor of his train a gray jacket, which he Albans as best they could in groups of not declared he intended to wear when he capmore than three. They were to register tured Vermont. St. Albans, then a village of at various hotels, and in their encounters about four thousand, clustered about a square with townspeople they were to pass them- or “green.” Its three banks—the St. Albans, selves off as prospective horse-buyers, Eng- the Franklin County, and the First National lish tourists, or invalids in search of rest. stood on Main Street within a space of one They were to be particularly careful not to hundred yards. Conveniently near were livspeak in the Southern drawl, and, above all ery stables, where Hutchinson had discovered things, the members of different groups were mounts in plenty. Moreover, there were sure not to appear to recognize each other. They to be some farm-horses hitched about the were to arrive not later than noon of Octo- “green.' An effort by Collins to borrow ber 18, and they were to remain in the arms for “hunting” had shown that the yicinity of their hotels until they received town possessed few. Young made a polite word of an assembling-place from Young. call at the residence of ex-Governor Smith, Each man was given two heavy navy
where he secured the privilege of inspecting revolvers, and each was ordered to pro- the horses in the first citizen's stables. They vide himself with a Confederate uniform. could be made into “serviceable cavalry Young was liberal with Clay's money for this chargers,” he said. purpose, but it is doubtful if the uniform Collins was hilarious. The “green,” he was anything like complete. Uniforms were pointed out, would make an ideal prison in scarce in the Confederate armies, and money which the whole Yankee population could be with real purchasing power was scarcer still. herded while the raid was on, if only one It is highly improbable that all of Young's Confederate could be spared to guard them. excited boy recruits were sufficiently impressed Young, a cooler tactician, glanced down Lake with the formalities of the situation to part Street, where were located the machine shops with cash for mere clothing even when they of the railway, employing several hundred could obtain it. There are old men in St. men. “We'll use more than one guard,” he Albans who insist that there was not a vestige said. “I shouldn't like to have the news get of a uniform among the yelling raiders who down to these fellows too soon." galloped through Main Street; but Young, On October 18 Young once more appeared always a bit of a dandy in his soldiering, pro- at the American House. Fifteen of his vided himself in Montreal with a handsome men soon also appeared. One of the men new outfit of gray; McGorty exhibited to announced himself to the proprietor of the the clerk at his hotel a rusty suit of butter- St. Albans House as Mr. Jefferson Davis, of nut, which, he declared, was a trophy taken Richmond, Virginia. His companion, he from a “reb” prisoner; and Higbie, a mo- said, was his valet. They thought him very ment before the action started, pinned to his amusing at the hotel. The rest of Young's hat a long black plume, which, he said, had command arrived next mornng.
It does belonged to Quantrell. It is probable, too, not appear that St. Albans noticed anythat most of the others were at least partially thing peculiar in the arrival of twenty uniformed. The question of clothing after- boyish strangers, each of whom carried wards played an important part in the court a satchel of a uniform type slung over proceedings.
his shoulder. It was in these that their Three times Young, who had some skill wearers planned to carry away the dollars as a topographer and who was a natural from the banks; but how could St. Albans woodsman, traveled over the road from the associate a war a thousand miles away with Canadian border to St. Albans. It was on twenty satchels ? The boys wandered about these visits that he established his reputation the streets, joked with the merchants, and as a theological student, for he read his Bible paid particular attention to such farm-wagons so rigorously at the American House that as were driven in. some of the elderly lady boarders considered Still unsuspected, the raiders ate their dinthe propriety of asking him to supply the ners at their various hotels. At 2:30 they pulpit at the Congregational church. Once made their way in small groups to Young's
room in the American. Young they found on his knees in prayer. To the tall Kentucky youth, clad in his new gray uniform, his cause was blessed and the forthcoming outbreak as momentous as a pitched battle. To the others, however, the adventure was still something of a school-boy lark. They laughed and boasted.
" You see," laughed Collins, holding up his instructions to command the raiding party at the St. Albans Bank, “ the Yankees buy their soldiers for a thousand dollars apiece. If we can get a million from these banks, we'll be killing a whole Yankee brigade. Here's where we turn paymaster for Marse Robert.”
Each man buckled on his revolvers and each jammed his pockets with four-ounce bottles of Greek fire. This was a liquid compound of phosphorus, which the Confederate agents in the North fondly believed would blaze and set fire to anything it touched the instant it was exposed to air.
Down the stairs, Young at their head, went the troop. Collins stopped for a moment to smash the bottle of his Greek fire in the hotel wash-room. “So they'll learn how to fry chicken before I come again," he laughed. They filed out on the hotel veranda. Ве. cause of a drizzling rain there were only a few townsfolk in sight. Young's men were
fingering their navy sixes nervously. More alive now to the danger of their case, they wanted the stimulation of action.
“I take possession of this town in the name of the Confederate States of America,” thundered Young, with fine oratorical effect.
A lone citizen, passing through the square, looked up curiously and passed on. From somewhere in the hotel came a laugh.
Higbie, with Quantrell's plume nodding in his hat, gave the shrill rebel yell. “Come on, boys !” he called. And the raid was on.
For the next twenty minutes events happened rapidly. Scott, Swager, and Lacky, with their pistols drawn, took up positions to guard the square. Higbie and Gregg led a detachment to the livery stable, whence McInnis presently came galloping, leading a fine little Morgan mare.
"Here's your Yankee hobby-horse, cap'n," he cried to Young, and the leader, with only a halter for control, vaulted upon the animal's back. Others were busy smashing their Greek fire against the sides of the wooden buildings, where it made a prodigious smoke and sputter. Collins, followed by Spurr, Will Teavis, and Price, made for the St. Albans Bank.
The bank's doors were closed against the fall chill. Its occupants had heard nothing
of the uproar. Cyrus N. Bishop, the teller, erate Government, supplemented by a further sat by a window counting bank notes. Martin oath that they would not report for two Seymour, a clerk, was in a rear room. Col- hours the presence of Confederate soldiers lins and Teavis strode to the counter. Bishop in the bank. There were sounds of firing in stepped up smiling with a readiness for busi- the street. Collins and his men ran out, taking ness. The next instant he was looking into with them some $83,000 of the bank's funds, the muzzle of two revolvers.
but leaving behind $50,000 in gold and United “ Don't apologize,”
apologize," grinned Collins. States bonds, which Bishop's stubbornness “ We're Confederate soldiers.”
had saved. “What?" gasped Bishop.
Hutchinson, who wore civilian dress, was “ Confederates," returned Collins. “ Did less direct in conducting affairs at the Frankyou ever hear of Bull Run and be damned to lin County Bank. He strolled in alone, clinking you? We're going to make your town look like a handful of gold pieces and asking the price the Shenandoah. Get into that back room.” of gold. Marcus W. Beardsley, the cashier,
Collins stood guard over the two bankers glanced up from counting his depositors' while the other three rummaged the bank. money to find Butterworth leveling a shaky The bills which Bishop had been counting revolver at his head. they swept into their valises, but in their “Good God!" said the cashier, softly. He nervous haste they quite missed a drawer explained afterwards that he supposed the under the counter which contained $9,000. man with the weapon a lunatic. Price dragged from the vault a number of Hutchinson repeated the formula : “We canvas bags, which Spurr slit open with his are Confederate soldiers. There are a hunbowie-knife. A stream of silver dollars dred of us. We're going to take your money poured out. In bulk the coins made a heavy and burn your town." weight. Price, with his satchel partly filled, At the word “Confederate" Clark, a sawkicked a bag aside. " It's too heavy to carry yer, leaped for the door with a yell. Moore down to Marse Robert,” he cried, and the thrust a pistol into his face and Clark subsided. silver was abandoned.
“We want all your greenbacks, bills, and Samuel Breck, a merchant, came whistling property of every description,” went up the steps. In his hands he carried $393. Hutchinson. “Don't try to resist. His note fell due that day and Breck was it, boys." glad that he had the money to pay. Teavis, Butterworth, Moore, and Moss ransacked with a courteous bow, unlocked and opened the space behind the counter. Their search the door for him. Then he presented his was hurried, but their satchels received pistol at Breck's head. " I'll take that $76,000, mostly in the bank's own bills. money," he said.
Breck was marched into Beardsley and Clark stood white-faced before the rear room. So was Morris Roach, a boy the stove, while Hutchinson, brandishing his who came in with $210 to deposit for his weapons, regaled them with tales of Northern employer, Joseph Weeks. He too was sent forays on Southern soil. “ They rob women to join the party in the rear, where Bishop, and children,” he declared. "They bayonet only half convinced that his visitors were
They robbed me of $50,000 in Confederates and not bandits, was sputtering Georgia. So now," he concluded, “you get with wrath.
into that vault-quick. We'll put you where “ If you're what you pretend to be," he you won't make trouble." expostulated, “ you'll let me inventory that Clark screamed. " It's murder," proproperty. If this is war, I want to make a tested Beardsley. “That vault is air-tight, claim upon the Government—"
and if you burn the town—" “Damn your Government !" snapped Col. “Get in,” stormed Hutchinson, and, lins. “Hold up your hands. Now you tell though the two men protested that they us where that gold is.”
would give no alarm, they were thrown into But Bishop, with his fighting blood up, was the vault and the door slammed after them. stubborn. He wouldn't tell, even though Twenty minutes later they were released, Spurr threatened him with a bullet. And just in time to see the raiders galloping out Collins was too pressed for time to make a of town. search. He backed his prisoners against the The party that entered the First National wall, and with his pistol leveled forced them Bank underwent a more interesting experito take the oath of allegiance to the Confed- ence, for here was encountered a real fight
" UNPREPAREDNESS" UNDID ST. ALBANS
ing man. Wallace, who led the way with While the affairs of the banks were in Doty, Bruce, and McGorty at his heels, found progress there had been plenty of excitement only Albert Sowles, the cashier, and General along the main street of the village and in the John Nason, a deaf veteran of ninety, who square. Young, on his Morgan mare, was had commanded the Vermont levies in the riding up and down with a pistol in either habitant uprising, and who continued the hand, still shouting his declaration of possesplacid reading of his paper throughout the sion in the name of the Confederacy and ensuing disturbance. To Sowles, behind the commanding his men to use more Greek fire. counter, Wallace presented his pistol with There was a fusillade of pistol shots, most of the words : 5. You're my prisoner. If you try which the raiders fired in the air, partly beany resistance, I'll shoot you dead." Bruce cause it added to the state of terroris:7, and also drew a revolver, which Sowles subse- partly because the mere racket appealed to quently testified was “a foot and a half long." them. The foraging parties were running McGorty, vaulting the counter, threw open back from the banks with their satchels full the safe, from which he tossed bank bills, of money, and there was a deal of shouting, Treasury notes, and United States bonds. shooting, bottle-smashing, and clatter of Doty and Bruce stuffed their satchels.
horses' hoofs. Young galloped toward Field's Among McGorty's finds were five canvas livery stable, where Higbie was cutting bribags.
dles with his long knife. Field, rushing from : What's in them?” he demanded.
his little office, shouted a protest, whereat “ Cents," answered Sowles.
Young let loose with both revolvers. Field " You're a liar."
always thereafter insisted that a bullet tore And McGorty slashed at a canvas-covered through his hat. George Shepherd, of Highbag with his bowie. Copper pennies streamed gate, driving into town behind his pair, was out. McGorty in disgust turned away from stopped in front of the Franklin County Bank the bags. One of them was filled with gold. by Hutchinson and Butterworth, who cut the
Wallace, alarmed at firing outside, called his traces and leaped on the animals' backs. men away when their pockets and satchels Leonard Bingham, seeing Young's back were filled to the extent of nearly ten thou- turned, ran toward him with a picket hastily sand dollars, but when there was still much stripped from a fence, but Young wheeled, plunder within their reach. As they left and Bingham dived into Wheeler's store. As there appeared the fighting man in the per- he plunged through the door a spent ball son of one William H. Biaisdell. He ran struck him in the side. into the bank, where Beardsley stood in the During all this—and the time elapsing was midst of wreck and confusion.
less than is required for its relation—the “ What's going on ?" panted Blaisdell. townsfolk under guard in the square were
"They've robbed the bank," replied still unable to believe the disturbance due to Beardsley. “They say they're rebs.” a Confederate invasion. They were like the
Blaisdell made for the door. There he passengers of the Titanic in believing themcame face to face with Wallace, one revolver selves far remote from the danger which really in his hand, but coming back for the other, faced them. They thought of bandits and which he had left behind. Blaisdell was they thought of jokes, but the only real most certainly not afraid of a gun.
things which entered their understanding blow he knocked Wallace down the steps. were the revolver shots and the rising smoke Then he sprang upon him, and in a grapple from the sizzling Greek fire. As for the the two rolled across the sidewalk.
rest of St. Albans's inhabitants, they were of “ Shoot him, shoot him !" yelled Wallace, a mind with Léandre Cross—they came and “Shoot him!" yelled Bruce, who dared strolling from their homes to see what had not fire for fear of hitting his friend.
caused the “ celebration.” Among these was McGorty, running up, placed his pistol Collins H. Huntington, an old resident, who against Blaisdell's head, and Blaisdell gave it had acquired that position of importance up. The four hurried him across to the which comes with moderate wealth and prosquare, where Scott and his crew were herd- found respectability in New England towns. ing a badly scared citizenship. Old General All St. Albans had long deferred to Mr. Nason, who had gone to the door, tottered Huntington. He stepped by the American back to his newspaper. As he passed Sowles House smiling approval on the jollification. he inquired, “ Who were those gentlemen ? Young, dismounting and holding his horse,