Raise The Flag & Sound The Cannon
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.
to buy the book
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
Setting the scene of the American Civil War and how the St. Albans of the 1860's
played such a key role role
from the book
"Raise The Flag & Sound The Cannon".
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...
the Sherbrooke Record Book Review from April 24th, 2009
finished the book this evening. What a pleasant way to spend a couple of rainy
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
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.
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".
book well written--Kudos Don!!
Send your comments
the author, Don Davison, by email
from Chapter 2 of "Raise The Flag & Sound The Cannon"
The novel by onald Davison
had been tentatively titled "Raid From Hell" but will now be published
in 2008 by Shoreline Press as "Raise The Flag & Sound The Cannon"|
Montreal, Friday, September
A clean cut looking young man, who claimed to be a
“Gentleman From Louisville,” had just stepped off the Quebec train at the Bonaventure
Station. It had been a long trip from Virginia. He introduced himself as the Reverend
Christian Clement Clyde of the United Christian Circuit from the neutral state
of Kentucky. He smiled benignly and clutched his bible for all to see. As a minister
he was well dressed with a full front frock coat and always his beige velvet waistcoat.
The only bit of apparel that could give him away as someone who was not what he
appeared to be was his insistence on wearing an old ‘lawman’s’ hat with a flatter
top and wider brim than a normal topper or traditional clergyman’s hat. The hat
was his attempt at looking ‘Kentucky’ in the eyes of easterners. The Reverend
Clyde described his message for the country folk in Canada as a missionary one.
“A much needed revival of the Christian ethic,” he would claim to anyone who would
listen to him.
Montreal, Monday, September 26, 1864
one could mistake southern gentlemen on the streets of Montreal. They had a way
about them that put them above the crowd. They walked with such grace and dignity
with clothing to match from the new southern knitting mills, that everyone quickly
bowed to them in passing. The British might have their woolens but the south had
their cottons! After all, they were supplying over two-thirds of the world’s supply.
Their vests were a blaze of color, their full front frock coats were light in
color and they always sported a gold tipped cane.
Jacob “Jake” Thompson,
former Congressman and Secretary of the Interior in the James Madison Administration
of the Union, walked with dignity up to the entrance of the hotel followed closely
by two attentive assistants, former Senator Clement Clay, from Alabama and George
Sanders of Virginia. Little did the local people realize that these dignified
‘fancy’ gentlemen were Confederate ‘Rebels’. It was the topper hats and the gold
tipped canes that impressed the locals. While the lightweight and bright colored
clothing made the members of the Beaver Club shiver, they accepted them for what
they thought they were … southern gentlemen on diplomatic missions.
Jake Thompson was the oldest of the three. His beard was short and curly. His
face was a little heavy and looked more like a bulldog on the prowl. His red face
looked like he was about to scream all the time. His eyes were as black as coal
with a demeanor that was quite enigmatic. He didn’t laugh easily and one did not
argue with Jake without feeling the fear of the almighty breathing down your back.
Clement C. Clay was taller and slighter than Thompson. He had a full
beard and looked older than Jake. With a very straight back, he fit well into
his southern genteel clothing, giving him the look of the perfect southern gentleman.
The way Jake pulled out his gold watch chain and the manor, in which he touched
his nose with his silk hanky, made him a man of obvious culture.
third man, George Sander of Virginia, was much younger than his two seniors. He
was shorter and thinner than Clay. While clean-shaven he was always grooming his
small mustache. George was a dapper man by northern standards. Fortunately he
laughed easily. Mr. Sanders reported to both Thompson and Clay.
their genteel façade, these southern gentlemen were spies. Thompson was the Commissioner
of both the Montreal and Toronto offices of a clandestine operation of the Confederate
Army. For the last two months Thompson’s deputy Commissioner, Clement C. Clay
had been running their mission in St. Catherine’s on Lake Ontario in Canada West.
He had been reviewing and planning operations for robbing and burning towns along
the Canadian border from the safety of neutral Canada. With diplomatic missions
in Halifax, Toronto, St. Catherine’s and Montreal, the Confederates called themselves
members of The Provincial Army of the Confederate States of America. Their criminal
activity was disguised as legitimate warfare. These soft-spoken men were paid
to cause havoc, in the Union, but also to create breaches in neutrality that might
bring Britain and Canada into conflict with the North.
As they approached
their hotel, the doorman quickly opened the door for such gentlemen who seemed
to be on important business. The manager rushed up to Commissioner Thompson. “There
is a gentleman who has been waiting for you all day. He is seated in the corner
of the salon underneath the potted palm.”
turned to gaze at the young man, who was reading a Bible. He was impeccably dressed
in light southern clothing, typical of what the commissioners wore. Tall, sitting
erect, clear blue eyes, clean-shaven and obviously quite young, this young gentleman
looked just like a southern minister on a mission. The question was, what kind
of a mission? Thompson turned to his two colleagues and whispered, “my God, this
can’t be the young officer from General Morgan’s 8th Kentucky Cavalry that was
referred to me by Secretary Mallory. I need an experienced soldier that can lead
raids not a wimp to lead a congregation in hymn singing.” The man seated in the
corner was the man who called himself Rev. Christian Clement Clyde.
With some misgivings, Thompson left his companions and strolled across the lobby
to meet Young. The lieutenant jumped up, recognizing the politician.
“Why Commissioner Thompson, what a pleasure to meet you. Secretary Mallory spoke
so highly of you.”
of a sudden Thompson was flattered. “Oh really?”
The young man continued,
“We have so much to talk about …”
Thompson leaned forward and whispered,
“Not here. Follow my men and I upstairs and we’ll talk privately. This is no place
for a serious chat.”
So without making any introductions, Thompson led
the way silently up the grand staircase to the mezzanine and along the carpeted
hall to his suite. When they entered, only then did Thompson introduce Young to
his Deputy Commissioner, Senator Clement Clay and George Sanders.
us about yourself, Sir?”
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