An Enjoyable Trip Back in Time at Fort Delaware Over the Labor Day Weekend

Capt. Clark escorts inspectors around the Fort.

Capt. Clark escorts inspectors around the Fort.

This Labor Day Weekend, as the nation pauses to honor working men and women, we took some time out for an enjoyable and informative visit to Fort Delaware.

This Island, the location for one of the many excellent state parks operated by Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), is a valuable First State cultural resource, providing living history programs that take visitors back to the summer of 1864.

On this beautiful Saturday afternoon at the end of August, first-person interpreters examined the lives of Union soldiers, Confederate prisoners and civilians going about their daily business on Pea Patch Island.   For a few hours while strolling around the Island on this comfortable afternoon, we meet and talked with Esau, the blacksmith apprentice and freeman, and Rev. Isaac Handy, a political prisoner.  We also encountered the commanding officer’s adjutant, as well as Captain Clark, ordinance officers, medical personnel, the laundress and other time travelers.

Periodically we participated in planned programs as knowledgeable living history interpreters offered stories about the role of the prison fort during the Civil War.  We were thoroughly caught up in these lively, well-done programs.

Rev. Handy, a political prisoner, tries to make his case with some visitors.

Rev. Handy, a political prisoner, tries to make his case with some visitors.

DNREC does a superb job of providing this carefully researched history, while also presenting it in an informative and engaging way.  We enjoyed our afternoon at the Delaware State Park Living History program, which took us back to the Civil War and the time when this prison confined thousands of enemy soldiers.

These programs right here in the First State are some of the finest around and they are a great way to present engaging history lessons.  Thank you DNREC for producing these most instructive programs and offering them in lively ways.  Fort Delaware is such a great asset and has a fine staff, linking the modern-day visitor to the history and culture of the State.

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Esau, the blacksmith apprentice and freeman, shows a few children the trade.

 

General Shoepf greets the inspectors in his office at the Fort.

General Shoepf’s adjutant greets the inspectors in his office at the Fort.

 

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