Fort Delaware Civil War POW Camp:
During the American Civil War, Fort Delaware was used to house Confederate prisoners of war. Many Gettysburg captured soldiers, including my great uncle Lt. David Philips, were housed here. Most of the POW’s were actually housed outside of the fort walls. The active duty fort was mostly occupied by the U.S. Army. Only senior Confederate officers had quarters within the walls. The rest of the prisoners occupied 54 barracks on the island. A full scale reproduction is constructed on the grounds.
The fort is open from May through September. It’s located on an island accessible from Delaware City by ferry.
“During the American Civil War, Fort Delaware housed more than 30,000 Confederate prisoners over the course of three years. In this first-ever study of the POW camp, the authors delve into the issues that everyone on the island confronted: poor drainage, lack of provisions, overcrowding, boredom, disease, and worse. But the men and women forced to endure the harsh conditions also determined to carve out a community–to not only survive, but perhaps even thrive. This remarkable story of that community will shatter all previously held ideas about life in a Civil War POW camp.” – Unlikely Allies