Fort Delaware Notes

Coast Defense

The site last updated January 26, 2019

Prison Camp

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The Fort Delaware Notes are published annually by the Fort Delaware Society and presented to the general membership at the annual winter meeting. The cost of subscription is included in the Society's annual membership dues.

Articles are generally published without endnotes or footnotes to save space and hold printing costs down. However, primary sources are frequently named within the text of each article, or can be found summarized at the end. Where indicated, research copies of articles with reference sources documented through the use of endnotes can be obtained from the Society office.

Copyright to the Fort Delaware Notes as published belongs to the Society. Copyright to the contents of each article belongs to the author. The Editor and the Society assume no responsibility for statements of opinion or fact made by the contributors.

Questions about past published articles, or submission of potential manuscripts should be addressed to the Editor, Fort Delaware Notes at the Fort Delaware Society, P. O. Box 553, Delaware City, Delaware 19706. Queries can also be made by telephone at (302) 834-1630, or by sending e-mail to

The Fort Delaware site served as a U. S. military installation over the span of several American wars from the War of 1812 through W. W. II. An earthwork battery was hastily thrown up on Pea Patch Island in the fall of 1814 to defend Philadelphia against the British, and the current Fort served as a Signal Station in W. W. II. A "Star Fort" similar to Fort Mifflin near Philadelphia's International Airport was constructed in the 1820's. Construction of the current Fort Delaware was completed at the beginning of the American Civil War. Major modifications known as the Endicott Section were completed in time for the Spanish American War in 1898. After W. W. II, Pea Patch Island and Fort Delaware were returned to the State of Delaware. Fort Delaware State Park was created in 1951 to preserve, restore, and manage the site.

Articles published must generally relate to Fort Delaware and Pea Patch Island, and need not be limited to the American Civil War. The effort should contribute to our on-going quest for knowledge about this important historic site and the people who resided there whether garrison, civilians, or military prisoners. A proper interpretation of historic Fort Delaware may include information on Delaware City, the C&D Canal, and Fort DuPont in Delaware, and Finns Point National Cemetery and Fort Mott in New Jersey.

Table of Contents

Fort Delaware Notes

1950-2000 2001-2019

Copies of each issue, or research copies of a specific article, can be obtained by contacting the Society offices as indicated above.

The first issue of what became the Fort Delaware Notes appeared as a mimeographed newsletter in March 1950. By 1952, the Notes took on a more familiar organization bulletin format. Prior to 1958, there were multiple issues of the Notes made in a single year. Beginning in 1958, a single issue was made to the membership in conjunction with the winter or spring Annual Meeting. The current historical journal format was introduced in 1992.

Digitally scanned images of all issues of the Fort Delaware Notes for 1950 through 2000 and for 2001 through 2019 presented in PDF format are now available via CD through the Publications & Merchandise page. "The First 50 Years (1950-2000)" was introduced in 2007. A second CD presenting "The 21st Century (2001-2019)" is now available. A combination package is available to those wishing to acquire both CDs. This is a fund raising project for the Society and proceeds from the sale of these items goes to the Society general operating fund.

Please note that many links scattered throughout this website take you to a file presented in Adobe Acrobat PDF format. This requires Adobe® Reader® software compatible with your PC operating system. Download a free copy of Adobe® Reader® from

All text and photographs presented on this website are the property of the Fort Delaware Society unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. No part of this site may be reproduced in any form without written permission of the Fort Delaware Society.

For further information, contact the Webmaster Hugh Simmons.