completed in 1859 on marshy island called Pea Patch Island. shape of a pentagon covering 6 acres. Fort Delaware was completed in 1859 on the marshy island known as Pea Patch Island. This stout Union fortress constructed in the shape of a pentagon and covering approximately 6 acres was used as a prison for Confederate prisoners of war during the Civil War.
General Albin F. Schoepf was commandant, known as "General Terror."
prisoners held in wooden barracks. after Battle of Gettysburg 1863 almost 13000 prisoners. scarce food, putrified water, smallpox, scurvy, severe malnutrition, diarrhea, dysentery.
according to Capt. John S Swann, prisoner, they formed a line and marched to the mess hall, there were several long rows of plank tables. when they were in place each prisoner took one ration. bread was rye and wheat flour, well cooked, very small piece. small chunk of beef. sometimes there was a tin of corn soup.
they would catch rats, clean, put in salt water a while, then fry. the meat was "tender and not unpleasant to the taste."
rusty slimy bacon
soup with half inch white worms
approx. 2700 soldiers died there.