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Blandford Cemetery is a historic cemetery located in Petersburg, Virginia, USA. The oldest stone, marking the grave of Richard Yarbrough, reads 1702. Veterans of every American war are buried there,[1] including 30,000 Confederates killed in the Siege of Petersburg (1864–65) during the American Civil War.[2] It is located adjacent to the People's Memorial Cemetery, a historic African-American cemetery.

In 1866, Blandford Cemetery was the site of Decoration Day ceremony. While visiting the cemetery, the wife of Union General John A. Logan was present and spied Miss Nora Fontaine Davidson, a schoolteacher, and her pupils putting flowers and tiny Confederate flags on the soldiers' graves. Shortly afterward General Logan issued a proclamation calling for the observance of Memorial Day. Locals say that Decoration Day served as the inspiration for the federal Memorial Day.

The cemetery grounds cover 189 acres (0.76 km2), making it the second largest cemetery in Virginia behind Arlington National Cemetery.[3] The original burial grounds, referred to as the "old ground," span 4 acres (16,000 m2) and includes the historic Blandford Church.

Colonel Robert Bolling, Confederate Major General William Mahone, his wife Otelia, and many of their kinfolk, and Confederate Brigadier General David A. Weisiger are interred there.

The cemetery is adjacent to Blandford Church, which is a Confederate memorial that features a full set of windows designed by Tiffany studios.

The cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1992.[4]

Notable burials[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Sarah Steele, Wilson (1 August 2012). "Remembering the Cost". The Hopewell News. http://www.hopewellnews.com/news/exec/view.pl?archive=3&num=4696#.Vb442W_bLL8. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  2. Ashley M. Neville and Historic Blandford Cemetery Foundation (March 1992). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination: Blandford Cemetery". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. http://www.dhr.virginia.gov/registers/Cities/Petersburg/123-0110_Blandford_Cemetery_1992_Final_Nomination.pdf.  and Accompanying photo
  3. "Blandford Cemetery". Virginia Foundation for the Humanities. http://www.encyclopediavirginia.org/media_player?mets_filename=evm00002670mets.xml. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named nris
  5. "PETERSBURG (BLANDFORD) CEMETERY". Commonwealth War Graves Commission. http://www.cwgc.org/find-a-cemetery/cemetery/2073200/PETERSBURG%20(BLANDFORD)%20CEMETERY. Retrieved 2 August 2015. 

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