Poplar Grove National Cemetery

Location: Petersburg, Virginia

Webpage: National Park

General Description: During the Petersburg siege in 1864-65, the Union soldiers were buried on the battlefield in either shallow pits or mass graves with nothing more than a wooden marker if anything.  In 1866, Lt. Col. James Moore identified a location for a new National Cemetery south of Petersburg at the site of a Greek Revival church built during the was by the Union soldiers named Poplar Grove.  With about 100 men they searched the entire battlefield surrounding Petersburg locating over 100 burial sites.  The bodies were removed and 6718 soldiers were reinterred with only 2139 identified, which is only a fraction of those that died.  The same held true for the over 30,000 Confederate soldiers buried in Blandford Cemetery in Petersburg where only about 2000 were identified.  The National Cemetery also contains the remains of Union soldiers that died subsequent to the siege through the end of the Civil War at Appamatox Courthouse.

Brochure

Impressions:

1) During the summer there is a Visitor Center located on the grounds with a small museum.

VisitorCenter

2) In April, all we could see were the numbered graves laid out in the cemetery, most of which were labeled as Unknown.

GraveStones

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