• Poplar Grove National Cemetery Luminary Event (photo courtesy of Joanne Williams)


    National Battlefield Virginia

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  • No Parking Available in the Eastern Front Unit August 2

    Free shuttle service will transport all visitors to and from the Eastern Front Unit on August 2 during 150th Anniv. of the Battle of the Crater events. Shuttles will depart from the Farmer's Market located at 9 Old St. in Old Towne Petersburg.

  • Eastern Front Unit Trails Closed to Horse Traffic on August 2

    Those who would like to ride horses at the park on Aug. 2 are encouraged to use the trails at Five Forks in Dinwiddie County as other trails will be closed to horses that day while the park commemorates the 150th Anniv. of the Battle of the Crater.

The Oldham Family

The Oldham family was one of the oldest enslaved family units on the plantation. They were also one of the largest families thus allowing them to marry into a host of other slave families. Jenny Oldham (born 1789) was the matriarch of this family. She had several children from her marriage to an unknown man. The children were named George (born 1804), Edward (born 1813), Sally (born 1815), Sucky (born 1817), Patty (b. 1821), Jack (born 1824), and Lucy (born 1829).

Edward nicknamed Ned married Fanny (born 1819) and they had two children, Jane (born 1841) and Ned, Jr. (born 1844). Edward served as a carpenter. Jane married Jim Booker on April 24, 1859. Jim, one of the slaves Eppes purchased in the 1850s, had been married to a cook on the plantation he was sold from. After a harrowing Christmas 1858 visit to her, it seems the two must have decided it was better to part ways than try to maintain a long distance marriage. The Bookers’ first child, Fanny Ellen (born Dec. 25, 1859) only lived a little over one year. Their second child named Ida was born in 1861.

Sally had a previous relationship as she had the following children prior to her 1852 marriage: William Thompson (born 1840), Nancy Thompson (born 1842), and Ansy Thompson (born 1850). Sally married Crocodile Lewis in 1852. The couple had two daughters, Ada (born 1858 and died in 1861) and Rose (born 1860).

Sucky married an unknown man whose last name was Page with which she had Eliza (born 1838).

Patty married into the large Slaughter family to an unknown man.

Lucy married Patrick Corn, a member of a family who had been on the plantation since the eighteenth century. They had three sons: Bob (born 1847), Cornelius (born 1852), and Alfred (born 1859). They also had six daughters Dolly (born 1848), Mary (born 1850), Hannah (born 1854), Fanny (born 1856), Polly (born 1857), Lavinia (born 1861).

All members of the extended Oldham family (including the Lewis, Booker, and Corn families) left the plantation between May and August 1862 and went behind Union lines.

Did You Know?

Blandford Church and Cemetery, 1865.

Those who died on the battlefields around Petersburg were left where they were originally buried until after the Civil War. From 1866-69 most Union dead were buried at Poplar Grove National Cemetery while thousands of Confederate dead were buried at the historic Blandford Cemetery. (Petersburg NB)