Wal-Mart Supercenter to Go Up on Site of Famous Battle?

Check out this news item from the Civil War Preservation Trust on efforts to stop construction of a proposed 52 acre Wal-Mart retail center in Virginia, which would be located just across from the entrance to the national park commemorating the Battle of the Wilderness, fought there on May 5-6, 1864.

According to the Preservation Trust, “only approximately 21 percent of the historic landscape at the Wilderness is currently preserved,” and the new retail center (anchored by a 138,000 square foot Wal-Mart Supercenter) would go up within an area considered to comprise part of the “historic footprint” of the battlefield site.  

On the anniversary of the battle this year, the Wilderness Battlefield Coalition held an event to protest the Wal-Mart retail center’s construction.  Speakers included a descendant of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, actor Robert Duvall, who actually played the part of the general in the 2003 movie, Gods and Generals

As for the Battle of the Wilderness, this was one of the bloodiest and most important engagements of the Civil War.  It was the first confrontation between Lee and Union Gen. Ulysses Grant, and it was also the first of a decisive series of battles — taking place over the course of a month — which culminated in the siege of Petersburg and the beginning of the last phase of the Civil War in Northern Virginia.  Combined Union-Confederate casualties here numbered somewhere between 25,000 and 30,000.

Greensboro Public Library of course has lots of books on the Civil War, including some which focus upon the Battle of the Wilderness.  These include:  Bloody Roads South: the Wilderness to Cold Harbor, May-June 1864 by Noah Andre Trudeau; The Killing Ground:  Wilderness to Cold Harbor by Gregory Jaynes; The Wilderness Campaign by Edward Steere; and On Fields of Fury:  From the Wilderness to the Crater, An Eyewitness History by Richard Wheeler.

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2 Responses

  1. The library has several books on Wal Mart. One that comes to mind after reading this post is

    “How Wal-Mart is destroying America(and the world) and what you can do about it” by Bill Quinn.

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