St. Albans Raiders Try to BURN Bridge!

From the State Historic Marker:

“On their retreat to Canada after an attack on St. Albans, a 22-man Confederate detachment rode into Sheldon near dark. Crossing a covered bridge which stood on the site, they set it on fire, but alert village citizens saved the bridge. In great haste to escape an aroused countryside, the invaders gave up a planned foray on the local bank.”-

More Information from the State Historic Marker Site:


…The former covered bridge is now concrete. It crosses Black Creek, a tributary of the Missisquoi River. The raiders had tried to fire a hay wagon on the bridge using “Greek Fire,” but a minister who served a nearby church put it out with buckets of water.”-

Another Source:

“…Acting in great haste, Capt. Conger, widely held as the local hero of the day, organized a posse of about 50 men who immediately took up pursuit. A second posse of about 40 men, organized by F. Stewart Stranahan and John W. Newton, also took to the chase.At the far north end of Main Street, the raiders picked up the plank road that ran between St. Albans and Sheldon. Today’s Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail follows the same path. By now it was too late and too dangerous to think of robbing Swanton and Sheldon banks.

Again using Greek Fire[*], the raiders tried to burn the wooden [two lane covered] bridge across Black Creek at Sheldon. Area residents quickly extinguished it. Hotly pursued by Conger and his posse of mounted men and some in buggies, the raiders headed for Canada.

[*]…The flammable liquid “Greek Fire,” a chemical concoction of clear liquid bottled in four-ounce glass containers… As with virtually all of the combustible liquid (which smelled of rotten eggs)…”-

The rendering I used was painted for the Sheldon Historical Society Museum. It is used on their sign in front of the building. It depicts the Confederate Raiders who attempted to burn the bridge.

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