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|Could they be referring to the November 1864 plot to reap havoc by torching buildings in New York City, such as an art museum? In this plot Confederates, who were sent to operate raids out of Canada by Jefferson Davis, planned to burn down several buildings in the city. They did, in fact, try to carry out this plan, but had to race back to Canada to avoid capture after their plan failed when alert police and firemen put out the fires.
One did get caught...Robert Cobb Kennedy. He was captured, tried and actually executed by hanging. I do not know if this event counts as an engagement or battle as the words might be traditionally defined. Perhaps it is best called a "raid." It might even be called "terrorism" by some definitions or just malicious mischief.