July 18, 1864: Three men in civilian clothes walk into the Calais Bank in Calais.

Just as they begin to draw revolvers to rob the bank, armed federal agents who have been tipped off about the plan catch the would-be robbers off-guard and arrest them.

The ringleader, William Collins, is a Confederate army captain who plans to turn the money from the robbery over to the Confederacy. Four months later, he escapes from the Maine State Prison at Thomaston and returns to the South via New Brunswick to resume fighting for the Confederacy.

Presented by:

Joseph Owen is an author, retired newspaper editor and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. Owen’s book, “This Day in Maine,” can be ordered at islandportpress.com. To get a signed copy use promo code signedbyjoe at checkout. Joe can be contacted at: [email protected]


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