Civil War Wiki
Blandford Cemetery
U.S. National Register of Historic Places
[[image:Template:Location map Virginia|235px|Blandford Cemetery is located in Template:Location map Virginia]]
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Location: Petersburg, Virginia
Coordinates: 37°13′33″N 77°22′50″W / 37.22583°N 77.38056°W / 37.22583; -77.38056Coordinates: 37°13′33″N 77°22′50″W / 37.22583°N 77.38056°W / 37.22583; -77.38056
Built/Founded: 1702
Architect: Davidson,James; Bowie,McCleary & Wright
Architectural style(s): Mid 19th Century Revival, Early Republic, Late Victorian
Governing body: Local
Added to NRHP: October 15, 1992
NRHP Reference#: 92001371


Blandford Cemetery is located in Petersburg, Virginia, USA. The oldest stone, marking the grave of Richard Yarbrough, reads 1702. Veterans of six wars are buried there, including 30,000 Confederates killed in the Siege of Petersburg (1864-65) during the American Civil War.

In 1866, Blandford Cemetery was the site of the first Memorial Day ceremony in the United States. 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.

The cemetery grounds cover 189 acres, making it the second largest cemetery in Virginia behind Arlington National Cemetery. The original burial grounds, referred to as the "old ground," span 4 acres and includes the historic Old Blandford Church.

Colonel Robert Bolling, Former Confederate General William Mahone, his wife Otelia, and many of their kinfolk are interred there, as is actor Joseph Cotten, a native of Petersburg.


  1. "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15.