African-American Confederate soldier to be honored during ceremony
Published: September 21, 2012
PETERSBURG – The Ninth Annual Richard Poplar Day Memorial will honor Confederate Pvt. Richard Poplar tomorrow as part of National POW/MIA Recognition Week. The public is invited to the program that will start at 11:30 a.m. at Memorial Hill in Blandford Cemetery.
The guest speaker will be Abdur Ali-Haymes, a retired sergeant major in the Army and operations manager of the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond.
Poplar was an African-American from Petersburg and member of Company H., 13th Virginia Cavalry. He was captured alongside other members of his unit as a prisoner of war in July 1863 at Gettysburg. Poplar was confined at Fort Delaware for five months and confined at the infamous Point Lookout Prison in Maryland for 14 months.
Poplar was recognized by his veteran comrades for providing aid and comfort to his comrades while confined at Point Lookout, including fellow Petersburg residents captured during the July 9, 1864 battle that saved Petersburg from a Union attack.
Poplar died in Petersburg in 1886 and was given a large military funeral and laid to rest with his fellow comrades at Memorial Hill in Blandford Cemetery.
On Sept. 18, 2004, at Blandford Church, then-Mayor Annie Mickens recognized Richard Poplar by presenting the Richard A. Stewart/Pocahontas Black History Museum, located on Pocahontas Island, Petersburg, a resolution proclaiming Richard Poplar Day.
Additional details are available at http://www.petersburgexpress.com/Petersburg_Events.html or by contacting the Blandford Cemetery Information Center.
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