Friday, July 17, 2009

No Wal-Mart in the Wilderness

If you read my last post and thought it regrettable that a museum would choose to tear down a building conceived and commissioned by its founder, how do you feel about a big box, mega-retailer like Wal-Mart paving over the blood of our forefathers to put up a parking lot?

OK, so maybe that characterization is a bit unfair, but unfortunately it is not too far off. Wal-Mart is currently embroiled in negotiations with officials and residents of Orange County Virginia, and pitted against incensed Civil War historians, preservationists, and enthusiasts as it tries build a new super center store across the street from the site of the Wilderness battlefield.

For those of us whose Civil War history is a bit rusty, the battle of the Wilderness took place in May, 1864 and was the first time forces commanded by Lee and Grant faced each other on a field of combat. By the end of the fighting 29,000 soldiers were dead, wounded, or captured. If Sam Walton's forces get their way, soon you'll be able to pick up the latest smiley-faced deal right across the street.

Follow this link to a photo story on Flickr chronicling the efforts being mounted by the Civil War Preservation Trust to get Wal-Mart to consider another site for their store further from the historic and hallowed ground.

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