Richard "Dick" Poplar

The Passing
Richard "Dick" Poplar
Petersburg Index-Appeal
May 23, 1886
There died in this city Saturday morning at the residence of Mr. James Muirhead, a Virginian who cast his fortunes with the Confederacy, and endured many months of weary imprisonment rather than desert his friends and comrades in their misfortune.  He was an honest, industrious man, highly esteemed by old Confederate friends and comrades.

When he was taken sick a short time ago he was given a home and kindly treated by Mr. James Muirhead.  His wants were supplied and the best medical attention also provided by a gentleman whom Richard cooked for during the war who was a member of the famous Sussex Light Dragoons, and with whom Richard was imprisoned with for nineteen months.

When the Sussex Dragoons were formed at the beginning of the war, and when they became Company H, of the Thirteenth Virginia Cavalry, Richard attached himself to the command.  The Sussex Dragoons were a wealthy organization, and each member of the company had his own servant along with him.  From April 1861, until the retreat from Gettysburg, Richard remained faithfully attached to the regiment.  On the retreat, together with many members of the command, he was captured and carried to Fort Delaware, at which place he was confined as a prisoner for five months.  He was taken to Point Lookout and kept there fourteen months, making his prison life nineteen months in all.

He was a prisoner at the same time with many old comrades.  During his confinement he was held in high esteem by both Confederates and the Federal troops who acted as the garrison.  He extended many courtesies to the reserves who were captured on June 9, 1864, and carried to Point Lookout.  He was often asked to take the oath of allegiance, release from prison being offered as an inducement.  He stood firm to his convictions, however, and loyally remained with his friends, sharing their prison life.

Richard was exchanged March 1, 1865, and returned to Petersburg, where he spent the remainder of his life.  His funeral will take place this (Sunday) afternoon from the Union Street Methodist Church at 4 o'clock, and six gentlemen who were Confederate soldiers will act as pall bearers, namely: Capt. E.A. Goodwyn, Capt. J.R. Patterson, Gen. Stith Bolling, Col. E.M. Field, and Mesrs. Jesse Newcomb and R.M. Dobie.  The remains will be interred in Blandford Cemetery near the plot where now are buried many Confederate dead.

All acquaintances, both white and colored, especially the old Confederate soldiers who knew and esteemed him in the brave days of "auld lang syne" are invited to attend the funeral.
Petersburg-Index Appeal
May 24, 1886
The Funeral of the late Richard Poplar, the colored Confederate soldier, a sketch of whose life was given in the last issue of the Index-Appeal, took place from the Union Street Methodist Church, on Sunday afternoon and was very largely attended, there being a great number of white people in attendance including many ladies.  The coffin was covered with beautiful flowers.  The funeral service was conducted by the pastor of the church, whose remarks were both touching and appropriate.
"A Colored Confederate Soldier"
Old Blandford Church
"Dick Poplar had been a caterer at the Bollingbrook Hotel in Petersburg, Virginia where his cornmeal creations were said to be unequaled.  He took his culinary genius to war with some Confederate fighting units and was captured at Gettys- burg.  Sent to Point Lookout Prisoner of War Camp, he was put under special pressure to desert the Southern Cause and take the oath of allegiance to the United States, but he treated oppressors with cold contempt.  He declared himself "a Jeff Davis man" and said he didn't care who heard him say so.  He 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."
On September 18, 2004 a Tribute to Richard was be held in Old Blandford Church, Petersburg, Virginia.  A Memorial Service and Gravestone Dedication was  held at  2:PM.   At 4:PM a free Concert in his Honor was be held at The Southside Railroad Station on River Street in Old Towne Petersburg.
  For more information and photos on the service, proclamation and dedication please visit here:

Posted By: Joe Elia
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