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

Excerpt 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"

Bennett Young

Montreal, Friday, September 23, 1864

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

Bennett YoungNo 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.

The 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.

Behind 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.”

Thompson 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.”

All 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.

“Tell us about yourself, Sir?”

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