If you've some thoughts on whether Wal-Mart should be allowed to develop a Supercenter on hallowed ground next to the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, you have two last opportunities: tonight and Monday night.
The so-called "Wilderness Walmart" proposal is to be discussed by the Orange County (Virginia) Planning Commission tonight at 7 p.m., and by the county's Board of Supervisors on Monday at 6 p.m. Project opponents say these hearings represent the last opportunity to tell Orange County that the Wilderness Battlefield is no place for big box sprawl.
The Civil War Preservation Trust plans to have an information table set up one hour before each of the hearings. Both of the hearings will be held in the Orange County High School Auditorium at 201 Selma Road in Orange, Virginia.
Wal-Mart's plan is to develop a 53-to-55-acre tract of land just north of the Wilderness Corner intersection in Orange, Virginia. Part of the proposed development would hold a store covering nearly 140,000 square feet, with enough room left over for additional retail outlets. While that land is not part of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, it is, historically, part of the Wilderness Battlefield.
According to the National Park Service, the Battle of the Wilderness was fought on May 5-6, 1864, with troops under both Union General Ulysses S. Grant and Confederate General Robert E. Lee engaged. "It was the beginning of the Overland Campaign, the bloodiest campaign in American history and the turning point in the war in the Eastern Theatre," notes the agency.