On October 19th, 1864, 21 men of the 8th Kentucky Cavalry, lead by Captain Bennett H. Young, robbed three Saint Albans banks simultaneously. Their original plan was to rob the banks, then torch the town, however their bottles of Greek fire failed, and only one small building was burned. The men got away with a total of $208,000, equivalent to over $3,000,000 in today’s money. This cash would prove valuable to the Confederacy, and help alleviate some of its debt. The men quickly fled the town, crossing into Canada, where they were arrested. The Canadian authorities found $88,000 of the money, which was promptly returned to Vermont, and a lengthy court case began to decide what was to be done with the soldiers. The courts ruled that the attack “Must be regarded as a hostile expedition undertaken and carried out under the authority of the so-called Confederate States under the command of one of their officers.” And thus couldn’t be dealt with under normal law. Montreal Superior Court Judge James Smith ruled that the prisoners could not be extradited and were entitled to be set free. Upon release however, they were rearrested and sent to Toronto to be tried for violating neutrality laws. The court case dragged on, with no decision being made before the fall of the Confederacy, and the surrender of General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Courthouse. Upon the closing of the war, the raiders were set free and allowed to return home, dissipating into the scaffolds of history. While thought to be ordered by the Confederate Secret Service, its also a possibility that these were men acting on their own accord, knowing they could get away with the robbery in the bleak, final months of the war.