Many of us in our region know that the St. Albans Raid in 1864 was the northernmost land engagement of the Civil War. However, many of us may not know that it also had a fictional Plattsburgh connection, thanks to Hollywood.
Friday night, at the Clinton County Historical Society & Museum, Andy MacDougall of Plattsburgh showed his own 16-millimeter reel-to-reel copy of the 1954 movie “The Raid”.
It was a dramatized re-telling of the story of the St. Albans Raid, starring Anne Bancroft, Lee Marvin and Peter Graves, among others.
The Confederate commander of the real-life raid had escaped from a Union prison stockade in Illinois. In the film, the fictional commander escapes from the North Country.
“It does begin in Plattsburgh with a jailbreak, back when Plattsburgh was spelled without the ‘h’, and so after that, the Confederate soldiers who engineered the jailbreak head across the Canadian border to plot their attack on St. Albans,” MacDougall said.
The St. Albans Raid actually did have a Plattsburgh connection, in a way. New York State organized its 26th Cavalry Regiment in the Lake City not long afterward — out of fear, stemming from the raid, that the Union’s northern border was vulnerable.
If you missed Friday night’s screening of “The Raid”, you can catch it at the museum Saturday night at 7:00. It’s free of charge, but donations to the museum are encouraged.