Anyone out there ever heard of Dick Poplar? I hadn’t until a few weeks ago when I found out that a memorial service was held at Memorial Hill in Blandford Church Cemetery in Petersburg, Va., in honor of “Dick Poplar Day.”

Dick Poplar was a Black Confederate who had been a caterer at the Bollingbrook Hotel in Petersburg. He took his culinary talent to war, serving with Confederate fighting units until he was captured at Gettysburg in July of 1863.

Eventually sent to Point Lookout Prisoner of War Camp, Poplar was put under special pressure to desert the Southern Cause and take the oath of allegiance to the United States, but he would not do so. He declared himself “a Jeff Davis man,” and said he didn’t care who heard him say so.

Poplar endured almost twenty months of life in one of the three very worst prisoner of war camps of the war, selling his famous pones to the other prisoners.  He returned to Petersburg after the war, and became a celebrated local figure and prospered. Upon his death he was buried with full Confederate honors as befitting a loyal Son of the South.

I’m glad to have learned something new, and think its wonderful that this man’s dedication and devotion to the South is still remembered and honored today.


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