The Blandford Church and Cemetery holds a lot of history throughout its grounds. The church itself was built back in 1737, however was in ruins by the time that the US Civil War began. The cemetery and church grounds were used as both a field hospital by the Confederates during the siege on Petersburg and as a staging ground for Confederate counterattacks after the Battle of the Crater in July 1864. I was there on a Sunday morning during the 150th Anniversary activities for the Battle of the Crater, however was unable to go inside the church itself. For some reason it was closed every Sunday during the month of August even when there were special events going on.
You can either walk through the cemetery or drive along the various roads. I found walking the better option as you can better observe the grounds and tombstones. Given the cemetery's age you will find graves from the mid 1700s until recent times. The graves that surround the church are some of the oldest, including one of a British General who died during the American Revolutionary War. Overall there are around 30,000 Confederate soldiers buried at the cemetery, with most of them unknown buried in mass graves.
The centerpiece of the Confederate memorial section is through a bridge where you enter to find several monuments and ornamental graves. There are markers dedicated to each of the Confederate States where the dead are buried along the outer edges of this area. In the center is a large statue of a Confederate infantryman. There seemed to be no pattern to how the cemetery was laid out, so it was somewhat confusing to where the remaining graves are located. I never found all three of the Confederate generals buried at the cemetery. There are a few Union soldiers buried at the cemetery as well.
Overall the Blandford Church and Cemetery provides a nice place to observe history and pay respects to the fallen. I would check beforehand to see if the church is open so you can enjoy the stain glassed windows from the inside.
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