The Fort Delaware Society database shows that Private Winburn L. CHAFFIN/CHAFIN, Company H, 8th Louisiana Infantry was captured at Gettysburg on 2 JUL 1863 and transferred through Fort McHenry to Fort Delaware arriving 7/12 JUL 1863 in the midst of chaos. There are no Fort Delaware hospital records in his file, nor did our researchers find any in other NARA microfilmed records. He was held until paroled for exchange on 7 MAR 1865, and delivered to Confederate authorities at Boulware's & Cox's Wharves on the James River near Fort Harrison east of Richmond over a three day period 10/12 MAR 1865. The selection criteria for release required the judgement of a Union army doctor that the man would likely be unfit for duty for at least sixty days. The returning sick and wounded were examined in the Receiving & Wayside Hospital (CSA General Hospital #9) at Richmond before being distributed to other area hospitals, or being forwarded to Camp Lee for a clothing issue and return to duty. There are no subsequent CSA hospital records in his file, nor a record showing that he was transferred to Camp Lee prior to being sent back to his unit. There is also no final parole in his file. All of this suggests to me that he was furloughed home from Richmond as a paroled prisoner of war in March 1865.
The Fort Delaware Society database shows that 2nd Lieutenant William H. OLIVER, Company H, 8th Louisiana Infantry was wounded and captured on 7 NOV 1863 at Rappahannock Station in Virginia. He was transferred from the battlefield and admitted to the Armory Square USA General Hospital in Washington, DC suffering from a "shell wound left side of spine" on 9 NOV 1863. He was sent to the Lincoln General Hospital in DC on 13 NOV 1863. But apparently the Washington Provost Marshal decided that this wound was not as serious as it sounded and sent him to the Old Capitol Prison instead. From Old Capitol Prison, he was transferred on 12 JAN 1864 to Fort McHenry and forwarded on 23 JAN 1864 to Point Lookout. At Point Lookout, he was admitted on 25 JAN 1864 to the Hammond USA General Hospital still suffering from a "shell contusion over L Secpula Hight" (I am copying this the way it reads). He was moved from Hammond General Hospital to the POW Camp on 17 MAR 1864 and held there until 23 JUN 1864 when he was sent to Fort Delaware. He arrived at Fort Delaware on 25 JUN 1864 and was held in the wooden POW barracks for officers out on Pea Patch Island. Society researchers did not find any hospital records for him at Fort Delaware. Selected for the March "humanitarian exchange", William was paroled on 7 MAR 1865 and delivered to Confederate authorities at Boulware's & Cox's Wharves on 10/12 MAR 1865. As in the case of Winburn CHAFIN, there are no Richmond hospital records in his file, or any record of clothing issued at Camp Lee. There is a record dated "In the trenches, March 16, 1865" which gives his name and particulars about his enrollment, but it does not indicate that he was present for duty on that date. This record was copied in the post-war years from the archives of the Louisiana Historical Association and was not a record captured or surrendered at Appomattox Court House. There is no final parole in his file. I would conclude that William H. OLIVER was furloughed home from Richmond as a paroled prisoner of war in March 1865.
The Society would very much like to have some basic biographical information on these two men. We are especially interested in images of the men who were prisoners of war at Fort Delaware for our photo display board. You can post your response here, or get in touch with us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fort Delaware Society