Controversy is brewing as the world's largest retailer is preparing to submit an application for a special-use permit to construct a new store on the site of one of the Civil War's largest and most important battles, the Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star reported.
Wal-MartWatch.com, an anti-Wal-Mart Web site based in Washington, D.C., created and released an on-line video protesting the planned location. In the video, General Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee appear together, bashing the idea of the retail chain building there.
The video isn't the only form of opposition. About 16,000 Orange County households were mass mailed a full-color, four-page brochure. The Free Lance-Star reported that the mailer was sent out by the Warrenton-based Piedmont Environmental Council, which not only opposes the plan for its historic site location, situated at intersection of State Routes 3 and 20, but also for as much for its potential negative impact on traffic.
The proposed site falls on a portion of the Wilderness battlefield. More than 2,773 acres make up the battlefield, which is part of Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania National Military Park, according to the paper. Although the proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter is outside the congressionally authorized boundary of the park, it's still within the historical battle area.
Wal-Mart's argument is the area is zoned for commercial use and has been for some time. Activists argue that there are many other non-historic locations the Supercenter could be built on.
The company has five stores in the area, including two in Stafford and one each in Fredericksburg, Spotsylvania and Culpeper.
Watch the Ulysses S. Grand and Robert E. Lee video by clicking here.
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