Although the engagement ended in a stalemate, Yankee shipping interests were preserved. Ayling, who is buried in Centerville, was the father of Charles Ayling, founder of both the Cape Cod Hospital and airport. Charles Ayling was an important civic leader whose resourcefulness and generosity shaped the lives of Cape Codders for generations to come.


Anna Elinor Jones

Accused Rebel Spy - Barnstable


Barnstable boasts another colorful connection to the war in the person of Anna Jones, an orphan from Cambridge, Massachusetts, and a convicted Rebel spy. Today, we would probably recognize multiple clinical issues in this seductive teenager, as she methodically attached herself to various Yankee regiments—and their officers—in the guise of seeking nursing work. A benign “daughter of the regiment” she was not, confessing in an 1863 signed statement (which she later recanted): “I have spent 2½ years in the Union army, and during that time have been the guest of different officers, they furnishing me with horses, escorts, and sentinels at my tent. I have invariably received passes to go when and where I pleased … and sometimes occupied quarters with the officers.”

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