Saturday, October 15, 2011

Memorial Hill, Blanford Cemetery

I have a question about a Blandford Cemetery which is located in Petersburg, VA. A client of mine has a ancestor who
is buried in Memorial Hill there. I contacted the cemetery by email explaining that I was trying to find more information
but was told that all they knew was online and that Memorial Hill was a mass burial.

You can search the listing for the cemetery at which I did for my client.
My question is what does everything else mean on the page and and where did the cemetery get the parent information.
Under other information it lists both supposed parents. There is also grave information which could perhaps indicate
there is a memorial stone but the person would not state this.

Things that I know about Memorial Hill:

It was created in 1868 and was designed by Henry D. Bird, a local civil engineer. The Bird Plan depicts sections of varying size for each of the Confederate States. The sections were separated by long curving paths. A map made at the time contained a list of soldiers buried in the New Burial Ground up to August 1, 1867.

It was used by the Ladies Memorial Association to commemorate the dead specifically in 1875. Such a big deal it was that in 1877 the keeper forbade their entrance to the cemetery.

Nearly 20,000 Confederates are buried at Blandford. 12,000 were interred by the Ladies Association on Memorial Hill after the close of the war; the others being buried by friends and family within the old cemetery limits. These interred soldiers came from many battles, not just those around Petersburg. Of these 20,000 fewer that 3,000 have been identified.

This information comes from my copy of John O. Peters, Blandford Cemetery: Death and Life at Petersburg, Virginia.

Military records would vary rarely contain the names of both parents, and rarely the name of one parent. Without knowing the circumstances of death it is hard to evaluate the situation. It is apparent that no soldier died in battle and was originally interred at Blandford since the first burial is not until 1868. So they either were killed in battle and later moved to Blandford or they died after 1868. If that was the case and it was in Virginia, the names of parents are part of the death register in the county of death and it is possible that Library of Virginia would have the death register on film.

Hope this helps.


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