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Old report of the St. Albans Raid and the Picture in Question
05-17-2017, 11:29 PM
Post: #1
Old report of the St. Albans Raid and the Picture in Question
I had to dig deep, but I came up with some correspondence that is over ten years old. I participated in a Study of the St. Albans raid being done by Dan Rush and E. Gale Pewitt. Others who worked on it were Dave Gaddy, Jane Singer and Laurie Verge (Remember these guys , Laurie?) Before the time of our correspondence, the list included Jim Hall and Bill Tidwell. Rush and Pewitt were writing the story of the St. Albans Raid. The portion of the report that would be of interest to you readers was the description of a second candidate for consideration that might be the lady in the picture.
We all agreed that the identity of the lady is UNPROVEN. A fact which I feel is a necessary consideration during our current study.
The name of the lady to be considered is Mary Belle Higbee. She was a 24 year old "Kentucky Widow" (as a result of the death of a prior husband). She came to Canada because her current husband Charles H. Higbee, had been wounded in the St. Albans Raid, and was near death. She stayed at his bedside, in the jail, so that there is no record of her stay elsewhere in Canada.
Now comes contradictory material. Her picture was not available until the time of publication of Headley's Book, and was given to Headley in Jassamine Co , Ky. There is a mention that the picture was readily available in Kentucky. (Excluding the possibility of the involvement of the Montreal Police). So, the possibility that there was more than one lady attending the prisoners, is a distinct possibility. BUT, we don't know which one is pictured.
There is ample reason to consider the errors in this story. The St. Albans Raiders were not considered as Heroes, at home. Kentucky never left the Union. so, the Vets came home to opposing parties. Most of the ruling people favored the Union. So, their effort was considered unacceptable. Most of the Raiders were totally unknown until most of them were deceased.
P.S. I have acquired Xerox copies of some of the money stolen in the St. Albans Raid. I'm not special - it was readily available to all.
It was issued by the St. Albans Banks, with their name on it.
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05-18-2017, 05:42 AM
Post: #2
RE: Old report of the St. Albans Raid and the Picture in Question
Could this be the same lady? Did she later move to Texas?

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"The germ of the Grays grew out of the Higbee Guards, organized Feb. 22, 1907, and after attending reunions and gatherings, gala days, and numerous like occasions, on the 5th day of Jan., 1908, they changed their name to the Fort Worth Confederate Grays, for the reason that the latter name was more definite as to their locality.

The officers of the Guards and Grays are given first, followed by sketches of the members of the company as now enrolled.

The first name was for Mrs. Mary Belle Higbee, a lady bountiful, whose husband wore the gray, and who gave substantial aid to the Guards, and while they were thus induced to make the change in name, get they will ever entertain the highest regards and most appreciative remembrance of this of the mother of the organization."

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https://archive.org/stream/rosterfirstte...t_djvu.txt
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05-18-2017, 07:42 AM
Post: #3
RE: Old report of the St. Albans Raid and the Picture in Question
The more I read of what people on this forum have uncovered and have shared (on this and other topics), the more in awe I am of your research skills and talents.
Has any of this been written up in book form or a series of articles?

Other than the one book mentioned previously about the St. Albans Raid by Michelle Sherburne (which is now on my wish list) has anything else been written and published about this incident?

So when is this "Old Enough To Know Better" supposed to kick in?
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05-18-2017, 10:45 AM (This post was last modified: 05-18-2017 11:18 AM by L Verge.)
Post: #4
RE: Old report of the St. Albans Raid and the Picture in Question
(05-18-2017 07:42 AM)Gene C Wrote:  The more I read of what people on this forum have uncovered and have shared (on this and other topics), the more in awe I am of your research skills and talents.
Has any of this been written up in book form or a series of articles?

Other than the one book mentioned previously about the St. Albans Raid by Michelle Sherburne (which is now on my wish list) has anything else been written and published about this incident?

Amazon has several others listed, but I am not familiar with them. I have heard good things about the Sherburne one, but have not read it.

(05-17-2017 11:29 PM)SSlater Wrote:  I had to dig deep, but I came up with some correspondence that is over ten years old. I participated in a Study of the St. Albans raid being done by Dan Rush and E. Gale Pewitt. Others who worked on it were Dave Gaddy, Jane Singer and Laurie Verge (Remember these guys , Laurie?) Before the time of our correspondence, the list included Jim Hall and Bill Tidwell. Rush and Pewitt were writing the story of the St. Albans Raid. The portion of the report that would be of interest to you readers was the description of a second candidate for consideration that might be the lady in the picture.
We all agreed that the identity of the lady is UNPROVEN. A fact which I feel is a necessary consideration during our current study.
The name of the lady to be considered is Mary Belle Higbee. She was a 24 year old "Kentucky Widow" (as a result of the death of a prior husband). She came to Canada because her current husband Charles H. Higbee, had been wounded in the St. Albans Raid, and was near death. She stayed at his bedside, in the jail, so that there is no record of her stay elsewhere in Canada.
Now comes contradictory material. Her picture was not available until the time of publication of Headley's Book, and was given to Headley in Jassamine Co , Ky. There is a mention that the picture was readily available in Kentucky. (Excluding the possibility of the involvement of the Montreal Police). So, the possibility that there was more than one lady attending the prisoners, is a distinct possibility. BUT, we don't know which one is pictured.
There is ample reason to consider the errors in this story. The St. Albans Raiders were not considered as Heroes, at home. Kentucky never left the Union. so, the Vets came home to opposing parties. Most of the ruling people favored the Union. So, their effort was considered unacceptable. Most of the Raiders were totally unknown until most of them were deceased.
P.S. I have acquired Xerox copies of some of the money stolen in the St. Albans Raid. I'm not special - it was readily available to all.
It was issued by the St. Albans Banks, with their name on it.

Thanks for tossing the name of Mrs. Higbee into the story also. I certainly remember the work done on the Northwest Conspiracy by Rush and Pewitt. Gale is still a member of the Surratt Society. I believe that they published a book on it with the excellent help of Kieran McAuliffe of this forum.

I wasn't in on any discussions about the photo, but just from this little bit of information here, it certainly seems that she is a very viable candidate for being the subject of our mysterious photo. The description seems to match Mrs. Higbee more than it does Sarah Slater, imo.

I'm not sure that all of the Raiders were persona non grata in Kentucky after the war. John Headley, whose book got us into all of this, ended up being Kentucky's Secretary of State. Also, Kentucky and Tennessee had a lot of Confederate sympathizers, some of whom were prepared to help Clement Vallandigham with his plan to break the Midwest away from the Union.
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05-18-2017, 10:21 PM (This post was last modified: 05-19-2017 04:47 AM by SSlater.)
Post: #5
RE: Old report of the St. Albans Raid and the Picture in Question
(05-18-2017 05:42 AM)RJNorton Wrote:  Could this be the same lady? Did she later move to Texas?


++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"The germ of the Grays grew out of the Higbee Guards, organized Feb. 22, 1907, and after attending reunions and gatherings, gala days, and numerous like occasions, on the 5th day of Jan., 1908, they changed their name to the Fort Worth Confederate Grays, for the reason that the latter name was more definite as to their locality.

The officers of the Guards and Grays are given first, followed by sketches of the members of the company as now enrolled.

The first name was for Mrs. Mary Belle Higbee, a lady bountiful, whose husband wore the gray, and who gave substantial aid to the Guards, and while they were thus induced to make the change in name, get they will ever entertain the highest regards and most appreciative remembrance of this of the mother of the organization."

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

https://archive.org/stream/rosterfirstte...t_djvu.txt

Yes!. Their name was The Mary Belle Higbee Guards They were a Drill Team.
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