Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Prison Times

As we saw in the last post, W. Hunter arrived at Fort Delaware prisoner-of-war camp in February of 1865.  I don't have specific information about his time there, but in the Library of Congress' American Memory collection there are images of a handwritten newspaper that the POWs at Fort Delaware created themselves. Although imprisoned and probably living in overcrowded conditions, the men appeared to have tried to participate in activities that would improve their day-to-day life -- clubs, musical groups, and literary societies.  The newspaper featured advertisements, poems, announcements and a directory. See the images and explore more at
Search on "Prison Times" in key word.  Let me know if you find W. Hunter Davis in the newspaper!

[Note:  Since first discovering the Prison Times, the Library of Congress no longer offers the link to the digitized image through the American Memory collection.  But I updated the link above to send you to the images current home within the Civil War Treasures collection on the New York Historical Society's website.  MME - 9 April 2015]

While reflecting on W. Hunter's POW experience, I wondered why he wasn't released until June of 1865, when I knew that Lee surrendered at Appomattox on April 9, 1865.  The following web page provides some details about how Lee's surrender was only for the Army of Virginia, and the other armies of the Confederacy then had to come to surrender separately.  It gives a timeline of departures from Fort Delaware.

You can learn more about Fort Delaware from the Fort Delaware State Park website and the Fort Delaware Historical Society website

Civil War Treasures from the New-York Historical Society,

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