Raise The Flag & Sound The Cannon

Raise The Flag & Sound The Cannon
"Raise The Flag & Sound The Cannon" formerly titled "Raid From Hell" by Don Davison is the historical novel recounting the 1864 raid on St. Albans, known as the Northernmost battle of the civil war.

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"The Wide Spread and Free Soil of the Yankee" by Don Davison. An insight into the author and his telling of the story of the raid of 1864.


Setting the scene of the American Civil War and how the St. Albans of the 1860's played such a key role role

Excerpts from the book
"Raise The Flag & Sound The Cannon".

Book Reviews

"Living as we do in this bucolic out of the way rural setting, it is easy to assume that History is something that happens somewhere else...

Read the Sherbrooke Record Book Review from April 24th, 2009

Reader Reviews

"Just finished the book this evening. What a pleasant way to spend a couple of rainy days.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book.

I really find a it very unique when an author takes a historical event and historical characters and blends in fictitious characters and fill ins.

The character John Rumsey is masterfully blended into this event without detracting from the real life characters and the raid itself.

I guess the biggest complement came this morning when I had laid the book down at the breakfast table and my wife picked it up.

Keep in mind while she loves history she could care very little about the details of the Civil War. But after about 5 minutes of skimming the book she asked me when I was finished to pass it on to her "because it looked very interesting".

A book well written--Kudos Don!!

Ken Sullivan
Plymouth, Michigan

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Contact the author, Don Davison, by email

The Story:
The raid on St. Albans, Vermont October 19, 1864.

During the American Civil War, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America (CSA) was desperate for money and arms. One solution was to rob Union towns close to the Canadian border and run back to the safety of Canada thereafter. As a result a raid was planned in Montreal by the Confederate "rebels" on St. Albans, Vermont.

A young officer was put in charge and asked what he thought of his chances for success. “Canada can’t arrest us. They’re neutral. We’ll call the raid a military action and besides ... it's only 14 miles back to the border”, laughed the confident rebel leader, Lieutenant Bennett Young. All of which is a true story.

To give this historical novel a human interest, some fictional characters are imbedded into the story. In particular "Doc" Rumsey, a patent medicine man and the Widow Minnie Green, a local lady who lost her husband in the Civil War, are found on the Green when the raid occurs.

Don Davison's novel "Raise The Flag & Sound The Cannon" centers around Rumsey, Green and the townspeople of St. Albans, Vermont when the tranquility of this peaceful town is destroyed by the Rebels as they rob the town's banks of over $200,000. "That ain't just a pile of corn husks, I'll tell ya," cries Ed Fuller, a local stable owner.

"We have had to use Cousin Joe's forcible expression, a Raid From Hell*. For about half an hour yesterday afternoon I thought that we should be burnt up and robbed. But I hope you don't imagine I was one moment frightened, though the noise of the guns, the agitated looks of the rushing men and our powerless condition were startingly enough."

(Excerpt from a letter by Mrs. Anne Eliza Braineard Smith to her husband John Gregory Smith, Governor of Vermont. Ref. Carl Johnson, The St. Albans Raid, 1864, p.44, private, 2001 and the St. Albans Historical Museum.)

* This novel had been tentatively titled "Raid From Hell" but will now be published by Shoreline Press as "Raise The Flag & Sound The Cannon"

Don Davison
Don Davisonauthor of "Raise The Flag & Sound The Cannon".
Published 2008.

A historical drama recounting the raid on St. Albans of October 1864. 227 pages with illustrations and maps.

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* This novel had been tentatively titled "Raid From Hell" but will be published by Shoreline Press as "Raise The Flag & Sound The Cannon"
The middle of the 19th century in America is in a transition from huge immigration from Europe in the first half of the century to industrial expansion, in particular the manufacturing of iron and steel, the railways and the telegraphs, in the latter half.

Life styles are simple. A nightly church service is the only entertainment and diversion in town. There are no cars, trucks, phones or lights. Patent medicines are the principal method for curing the effects of maladies but not causes. Because of the War, St. Albans is struggling with the loss of many of its men.

When Robert E. Lee’s Confederate Army lost the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863 and General Ulysses Grant became the leader of the Union forces in the spring of 1864, the tide of the Civil War turns against the Confederate States of America. Read more

The following is a special telegram from the Editorial Correspondent of the Montreal Gazette, at Quebec, dated yesterday evening: -- The Montreal Gazette, October 20, 1864

"From the Vermont and Boston Line: St. Albans, Vt., 19th. -- A party of 20 rebel raiders entered this place this p.m. shooting and killing the citizens. They robbed all the banks, stole 15 or 20 horses, killed 4 or 5 and wounded several. They have left town but are expected back soon with a large force. If there is no error or exaggeration in this statement, a gross outrage has been committed, in a peaceful and thriving village, situated on the Vermont Central Railway, a short distance from Rouses Point, and not far from the borders of Canada."


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