Civil War Details from Hugh Simmons at Ft. Delaware Society

Hello John Cliser:

Martha Bennett, Office Manager for the Fort Delaware Society, called me this morning telling me of her earlier telephone conversation with you and asking me to do a look-up for your ancestor Private Samuel Davis CLISER, Company G, 12th Virginia Cavalry. The Society database has a brief entry showing Private S. D. CLISER, Co. G, 13th Virginia Cavalry as a POW held at Fort Delaware. I was able to examine the Compiled Military Service Records for the both the 12th and 13thVirginia Cavalry regiments and found no one surnamed CLISER in the 13th Virginia. I found records for Samuel D. CLISER and for Ambrose CLIZER, both privates in Company G, 12th Virginia Cavalry regiment. The surname spelling CLISER and CLIZER were used interchangeably throughout these records. Samuel was a POW at Fort Delaware, while Ambrose was not. We will be updating the Society database entry with the additional information that I have found.

Samuel D. CLISER was enrolled 1 MAY 1863 at Harrisonburg, Virginia to serve for three years or the duration of the war. Company muster rolls show that he was paid on 1 SEP 1863 and then was absent sick from September 1863 through August 1864. There were no company muster rolls in his files after this date to show when he returned to duty. The next record found was a Federal POW record showing that he had been captured at Mount Jackson (Shenandoah County) on 5 MAR 1865 & sent from Harper's Ferry on 9 MAY 1865 along with a large group of Confederate prisoners captured at Waynesboro on 2 MAR 1865. The enlisted men were to have gone to Point Lookout while the officers were being sent to Fort Delaware. En route the orders were changed and all of these POWs ended up at Fort Delaware.

Samuel D. CLISER was received at Fort Delaware from Winchester (through Harper's Ferry) on 12 MAR 1865. These Fort Delaware records show his date and place of capture as Greenwood Station (Albemarle County) on 2 MAR 1865. NARA Tape 45, a record that does not appear in the CMSR, shows that Samuel was housed in Division 5 while at Fort Delaware. These divisions were numbered groups or rooms in the wooden POW barracks outside the main fort. Officers and enlisted men were housed separately for security reasons. Generally, men for the same units and states were grouped together in these divisions under the immediate supervision of a Confederate non-commissioned officer who was also a POW. No records have survived to tell us where any specific numbered division was located within the barracks complex.

When all Confederate armies and military departments in the field had been surrendered, General Orders No. 109 was issued by the Federal War Department on 6 JUN 1865 directing the immediate release of all Confederate prisoners of war, captains down to privates, then being held against whom no criminal charges were pending. This order required the men to take the Oath of Allegiance in order to secure their individual releases. Transportation was to be provided to a point closest to the released man's home that could be reached by water and/or rail. Samuel's place of residence for this purpose was given as Rappahannock County, Virginia. He was described as having a dark complexion, dark hair, dark eyes and standing 5 feet 10 1/2 inches tall.

The Society would like to know more about this Confederate soldiers. Looking for basic things such as dates and places of birth, marriage(s), and death. Tell us what he did for living after the war. And if you have a photo of Samuel taken at any age, the Society would very much like to receive a digital copy from you so that we can display his likeness on our Photo Display Board and in our Photo Album out at the Sutler Shop inside historic Fort Delaware.

We would also like to add you to our descendant's database and will need your snail mail address.

I look forward to hearing back from you!


R. Hugh Simmons
Editor, Fort Delaware Notes
Fort Delaware Society
Home Telephone: (610) 647-0798