Early Veterans on Cape Cod

On November 11th, we honor our American Veterans. From the Revolutionary War on, battles were fought on Cape Cod. Falmouth militia twice defeated the British when they bombarded the town with cannonballs during the Revolutionary War and again during the War of 1812.

Orleans fought the Battle of Rock Harbor in 1812. When British Admiral Lord Howe demanded one thousand dollars from the town to prevent the bombardment of the harbor’s saltworks, the townsfolk told him try to collect it. It turned out the Admiral’s ship, the H.M.S. Newcastle, was too big to get close enough to do damage with cannonballs, so instead they burned two American sloops and seized two others. When the Brits tried to invade on foot, the Orleans militia successfully repelled them.

On July 21, 1918, a German U-boat surfaced and began to fire on a tug towing four barges about three miles off Orleans. Eventually the over two hundred feet long U-boat sunk all four barges while hundreds of townspeople lined the beach to watch the battle. Orleans holds the unique distinction of being the only American soil fired upon during World War I. I love to add these historical tidbits to my novels which take place on Cape Cod.

The Cape, along with our whole country, was settled by strong and brave people. They fought hard for what was theirs. We thank all our veterans for their service every day, but especially on November 11th.


About Gerri

I'm in my second career. Besides raising my beautiful family, worked as RN. Now I'm a novelist. Have completed five novels and working on my sixth. Way more fun than nursing! Happy hubby and neurotic cat hang out with me.

Posted on November 5, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. It’s hard to picture that beautiful serene harbor being the site of such drama! (You would’ve thought getting stuck in the mud flats at low tide would have kept that area from being attacked.)
    I’m glad you’ll be looking for a way to include some of this history in your Cape stories.

  2. Did you ever get to see the “Liberty ship” target off of Skaket/Rock Harbor? (It’s been a number of years since it was there: yeah, I know, that sounds typically New England to give directions based on landmarks that “usta” be there!) The local bird food store writer/owner (the one that writes that hilarious weekly column) wrote a spoof last winter about it being replaced: it was so realistic, people were expecting to see a bullet-riddled boat arrive in Hyannis!

  3. I have really been enjoying reading about Cape Cod and learning so much! Good writer!

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