History of the Cemetery
The cemetery adjacent to Blandford Church has been used as a burial ground since the early 18th century. The oldest marked grave dates from 1702. Among the more noted individuals buried within the cemetery is one foreigner, Major General William Phillips.
Major General William Phillips
Major General William Phillips was a British citizen and commander of the British troops during the April 25, 1781, Battle of Petersburg. Phillips died on May 13, 1781 in Petersburg following a fever that was most likely malaria or typhus.
A memorial stone, erected by the Daughters of the American Revolution in 1914, stands adjacent to Blandford Church, marking the general location of Phillips' secret burial, done at the direction of his deputy commander, Brigadier General Benedict Arnold.
America’s Memorial Day Holiday was inspired by events at Blandford Church Museum and Cemetery. Soon after the Civil War ended, Mary Logan, wife of Union Commander General John A. Logan, witnessed a group of schoolgirls placing flowers on the graves of soldiers. Deeply moved when she saw the ritual repeated the next year, she related the story to her husband, who took steps that ultimately led to the observance of Memorial Day as a national holiday.
Civil War Soldiers
A mass grave consisting of the remains of 30,000 soldiers is located on Memorial Hill. The records only contain 3,700 names.Click here for Records
Some plots feature exquisite examples of 19th century decorative iron fences. A walking tour, highlighting some of the monuments and burial sites in close vicinity of the church is incorporated into the church tour, weather permitting.
More extensive cemetery tours are offered throughout the year, including a Halloween evening tour on October 31. Check the calendar for additional information.
Begin your tour of Historic Blandford Church and Cemetery at the Blandford Visitors' Reception Center, 111 Rochelle Lane, Petersburg, VA 23803, (804) 733-2396. The reception center features a display of artifacts associated with the history of the Cemetery and Church as well as a gift shop.
More information on Blandford Church Museum & Cemetery HERE
Take a look at a video tour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UX0sQDIi2HI