African American Confederate soldier to be honored
PETERSBURG - The 7th annual Richard Poplar Day Memorial will honor Pvt. Richard Poplar this Saturday during National POW/MIA Recognition Week. The public is invited to this program which will start at 11:30 a.m. at Memorial Hill in Blandford Cemetery.
A Petersburg resident and member of Company H, 13th Virginia Cavalry, Pvt. Richard Poplar was captured alongside other members of his unit as a prisoner of war in July 1863 at Gettysburg. Pvt. Poplar was confined at Fort Delaware for five months and confined at the infamous Point Lookout, Maryland Prison for an additional 14 months. He overcame this peril in a heroic manner that required outstanding courage and sacrifice.
Poplar is 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 Petersburg Battle of the Old Men and Young Boys on 9 June 1864.
In 1886 in Petersburg, Poplar passed away being given a large military funeral and laid to rest with his fellow comrads at Memorial Hill.
"His pall bearers included Capt. E.A. Goodwyn, Capt. J.R. Patterson, Gen. Stith Bolling, Col.E.M. Fiield, and Mesrs. Jesse Newcomb and R. M. Dobie," according to published reports in Petersburg's "The Index Appeal".
On Sept. 18, 2004, at Blandford Church, Mayor Annie Mickens recognized POW Richard Poplar by presenting the Richard A. Stewart/Pocahontas Black History Museum, located on Pocahontas Island, Petersburg, a resolution proclaiming September 18th as Richard Poplar Day.
- This information was provided by the Richard Poplar Memorial Commttee