Stauffer Miller is a historian who writes about Cape Cod in the Civil War. His latest book, Sandwich Soldiers, Sailors, Sons: A Cape Cod Town in the Civil War, tells the story of the Cape Cod, Massachusetts community of Sandwich before, during and after the Civil War.
Sandwich was unique among Cape Cod’s Civil War-era communities in that its economy was industrial rather than maritime. Boston businessman Deming Jarves established a glassmaking factory there in 1825. Irish immigrants soon arrived to work in Jarves’s factory. They were Cape Cod’s first Irish and also first Catholics. When the Civil War broke out in 1861, Sandwich’s population stood at 4,500, a sizeable increase from what it was before the factory’s arrival. A substantial portion of that increase was Irish factory workers and their families.