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Civil War in Delaware: Part 3

Slavery in Delaware

Delaware played a major role in the history of African-American freedom, said Reed. Thomas Garrett organized and operated a branch of the Underground Railroad running from Seaford through Middletown and Odessa.

Harriet Tubman: Wikipedia: woodcut artist not listed; W.J. Moses, printer; stereotyped by Dennis Bro's & Co.

Harriet Tubman: Wikipedia: woodcut artist not listed; W.J. Moses, printer; stereotyped by Dennis Bro’s & Co.

Harriet Tubman conducted slaves through Delaware to freedom during the 1850’s. She was assisted by other free people of color and escaped slaves. “From 1863 to 1865, Delaware furnished 924 men to the Union Army as members of four U.S. Colored Troop Regiments,” said Reed.

The Civil War Round Table of Wilmington, Delaware, Inc, the nation’s fourth oldest civil war round table, meets to learn about and discuss these contentious times on the first Wednesday of the month from September through June. Reservations required. For information about featured speakers, visit http://mysite.verizon.net/vze6oji5/index.html .

This story was first published in the News Journal under the byline of Gail A. Sisolak. All rights reserved.

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Delaware and the Civil War: Part 2

Wilmington, home to the state’s manufacturing and trading center at the junction of the Brandywine and Christiana, had woolen mills and other industrial establishments dependent on water power. “Much of the gunpowder fired by the Union military came from the E.I. Dupont & Co.’s Hagley Mills,” said Reed. Harland and Hollingsworth completed three monitors plus several gunboats, while their competitor Pusey & Jones launched an additional half-dozen gunboats.

Sketch of USS Patapsco built by Harlan & Hollingsworth: Wikipedia: Jinian {{PD-USGov-Military-Navy}}

Sketch of USS Patapsco built by Harlan & Hollingsworth: Wikipedia: Jinian {{PD-USGov-Military-Navy}}

Hagley Museum & Library: Restored Roll Mill: Wikipedia: Ukexpat

Hagley Museum & Library: Restored Roll Mill: Wikipedia: Ukexpat

Below the canal and west of the railroad was a rural, agrarian society of farmers and water men, said Reed. Lower Delaware industries consisted of small shipyards at Milford and Milton and local grist mills.

Kent and Sussex, although geographically larger than New Castle County, were definitely rural. Subsistence farms predominated, especially in Sussex, where farmers made enough cash to pay taxes by selling native pine for building timber to be used in Philadelphia, said Reed.  Delaware Bay watermen and fishing vessels home ported at Lewes in Sussex County served as the exception to the rural norm. New Castle, Seaford, Laurel and Milford were hotbeds of Confederate sympathizers.

This story was first published in the News Journal under the byline of Gail A. Sisolak. All rights reserved.