October 12, 2010
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James McPherson has agreed to testify on behalf of residents attempting to block the construction of a Walmart Supercenter near an endangered Civil War battlefield in northern Virginia.
McPherson said Tuesday he will testify that the Walmart site and
nearby acres were blood-soaked ground and a Union "nerve center"
in the Battle of the Wilderness and not simply a staging area for
the 1864 battle, as Walmart Stores Inc. and its supporters have
Attorneys seeking to overturn local approval of the store sought
McPherson's testimony to support their argument that Walmart
should not be allowed to build on what they consider hallowed
McPherson wrote in the summary that Grant's headquarters and his
senior leaders were encamped near the site of the proposed store,
and that Union casualties were treated on the site or in an area
destined to be a parking lot for the store.
McPherson says "That Walmart site and the area surrounding it ... was an extremely busy place during the course of that battle," he said.
"Tens of thousands of men walked through it."
Walmart did not immediately respond to a request for comment
Tuesday on McPherson's statements.
An attorney representing store opponents, who provided
McPherson's statement to the AP, said he sought McPherson's
testimony at the trial, scheduled to start Jan. 25 in Orange County