Skip to Main Content

Fort Delaware.

Fort Delaware: Confederate Hellhole

Field review by the editors.

Delaware City, Delaware

Fort Delaware stands on Pea Patch Island in the Delaware River. It's a castle-like fortress surrounded by a moat. Originally built to protect Wilmington and Philadelphia, it became infamous during the Civil War as a jail for Confederate POWs. 33,000 were imprisoned, nearly 2,700 died from dysentery, scurvy, and smallpox (They're buried in a mass grave in New Jersey).

Summer days can still be as miserably hot and humid at the fort as they were in 1864, but today's tourists and costumed "living history" interpreters at least escape the medical maladies of yore. In September and October there are Haunted Fort tours, and every year in May the "Escape from Fort Delaware Triathlon" is run along the same path used by the Fort's 52 Civil War prisoners who managed to break out and swim across the river.

Fort Delaware: Confederate Hellhole

Pea Patch Island, Delaware City, DE
The Fort is just offshore from Delaware City, reached via the Three Forts Ferry. I-95 exit 4A. Drive south on Hwy 1 for 7.5 miles. Take exit 152. Turn left onto Hwy 72. Drive east for four miles (Hwy 72 will become Hwy 9). Turn left onto Clinton St. and drive to the ferry dock.
W-Su 10 am - 4 pm, summer only. (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Most Historic Alley in DelawareMost Historic Alley in Delaware, New Castle, DE - 5 mi.
34-Foot-Tall Stainless Steel Mary34-Foot-Tall Stainless Steel Mary, New Castle, DE - 7 mi.
Frankenstein Muffler ManFrankenstein Muffler Man, Middletown, DE - 6 mi.
In the region:
Matchbox Road Museum, Newfield, NJ - 29 mi.

More Quirky Attractions in Delaware

Stories, reports and tips on tourist attractions and odd sights in Delaware.

Explore Thousands of Unique Roadside Landmarks!

Strange and amusing destinations in the US and Canada are our specialty. Start here.
Use's Attraction Maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Save Cool Vacation Destinations! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Delaware Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Route 66 Experience: Metal Muffler Man, Springfield, Illinois (May 27-Jun 2, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings