253 historians sign petition to oppose Wal-Mart store near Wilderness Battlefield National Park

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  • National History Coalition Backgrounder
  • Mr. Lee Scott, President and CEO
    Walmart Stores, Inc.
    702 SW 8th Street
    Bentonville, Arkansas 72716-8611

    Dear Mr. Scott:

    I urge you in the strongest possible terms to pursue alternate building locations for the Walmart Supercenter proposed in Orange County, Virginia. The site currently under consideration lies within the historic boundary of the Wilderness Battlefield and only one quarter mile from the current boundary of the Wilderness Battlefield unit of Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park.

    The Battle of the Wilderness was among the most significant engagements of the Civil War. It marked the first time legendary generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant faced off against one another on the field of battle. During two days of desperate conflict in a harsh, unforgiving landscape tangled with underbrush, 4,000 Americans lost their lives and nearly 20,000 were wounded.

    The proposed location will greatly increase traffic through the area and encourage further development to encroach upon and spoil the battlefield. This, in turn, will seriously degrade the experience for the many tens of thousands of heritage tourists who visit this National Park every year. The Wilderness Battlefield is easily the biggest tourist attraction in Orange County, with visitors coming from around the world to experience its serenity and contemplate its history and significance.

    As a historian, I feel strongly that the Wilderness Battlefield is a unique historic and cultural treasure deserving careful stewardship. Currently only approximately 20 percent of the battlefield is protected by the National Park Service. If built, this Walmart would seriously undermine ongoing efforts to see more of this historic land preserved and deny future generations the opportunity to wander a landscape that has, until now, remained largely unchanged since 1864.

    The Wilderness is an indelible part of our history, its very ground hallowed by the American blood spilled there, and it cannot be moved. Surely Walmart can identify a site that would meet its needs without changing the very character of the battlefield.

    There are many places in central Virginia to build a commercial development, but there is only one Wilderness Battlefield. Please respect our great nation's history and move your store farther away from this historic site and National Park.


    Terrie Aamodt, Walla Walla University
    Edward D. Abrahams, Silver Spring, Md.
    Sean P. Adams, University of Florida
    Garry Adelman, History Associates, Inc.
    Nicholas Aieta, the Marlborough School, West Springfield, Mass.
    A.J. Aiseirithe, Washington, D.C.
    James Anderson, Ashburn, Va.
    Adam Arenson, University of Texas
    Jonathan M. Atkins, Berry College
    Arthur H. Auten, University of Hartford
    David Bard, Concord College
    Alwyn Barr, Texas Tech University
    Craig A. Bauer, Metairie, La.
    Erik Bauer, West Hollywood, Calif.
    Dale Baum, Texas A&M University
    Edwin C. Bearss, Historian emeritus, National Park Service
    Caryn Cosse Bell, University of Massachusetts at Lowell
    Jeffrey R. Bennett, Waterford, N.Y.
    Shannon Bennett, Ellettsville, Ind.
    Melvyn S. Berger, Newton, Mass.
    Arthur W. Bergeron, Shippensburg, Pa.
    Edward H. Bergerstrom, Port Richey, Fla.
    Eugene H. Berwanger, Colorado State University
    Fred W. Beuttler, Deputy Historian, U.S. House of Representatives
    Darrel Bigham, University of Southern Indiana
    John Bloom, Las Cruces, N.M.
    Frederick J. Blue, Youngstown State University
    Christopher Bobal, Lees Summit, Mo.
    Thomas Bockhorn, Huntsville, Ala.
    Keith Bohannon, University of West Georgia
    Phillip S. Bolger, San Diego, Calif.
    Patrick Boyd, the Pomfret School, Pomfret, Conn.
    Vernon S. Braswell, Corpus Christi, Tex.
    Roger D. Bridges, Bloomington, Ill.
    Ronald S. Brockway, Regis University
    Col. George M. Brooke, III, USMC (Ret.), Lexington, Va.
    Bruce A. Brown, Cypress, Calif.
    Norman D. Brown, University of Texas, Austen, Tex.
    David Brush, the Pomfret School, Pomfret, Conn.
    Jim Burgess, Manassas National Battlefield, Va.
    Ken Burns, Walpole, N.H.
    Brian Burton, Ferndale, Wash.
    Victoria Bynum, Texas State University-San Marcos
    Peter S. Carmichael, West Virginia University
    Marius M. Carriere, Christian Brothers University
    Katherine Cassioppi, National-Louis University
    Gary Casteel, Lexington, Va.
    Jane Turner Censer, George Mason University
    William Cheek, San Diego State University
    John Cimprich, Thomas More College
    Thomas G. Clemens, Hagerstown Community College
    Leon F. Cohn, Plantation, Fla.
    Thomas B. Colbert, Marshalltown Community College
    James R. Connor, Chancellor emeritus University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
    William J. Cooper, Jr., Louisiana State University
    Janet L. Coryell, Western Michigan University
    Charles E. Coulter, Yankton, S.D.
    Robert E. Curran, Richmond, Ky.
    Thomas F. Curran, Saint Louis, Mo.
    Gordon E. Dammann, National Museum of Civil War Medicine
    Guy Stephen Davis, Atlanta, Ga.
    William C. "Jack" Davis
    Joseph G. Dawson, III, Texas A&M University
    Mary DeCredico, United States Naval Academy
    James Lyle DeMarce, Arlington, Va.
    Charles B. Dew, Williams College
    Steven Deyle, University of Houston
    Richard DiNardo, Marine Corps Command and Staff College
    Luis-Alejandro Dinnella-Borrego, Warwick, N.Y.
    Richard R. Duncan, Alexandria, Va.
    Kenneth Durr, History Associates, Inc.
    David Dykstra, Poolesville, Md.
    Mark Elliott, University of North Carolina at Greensboro
    Robert F. Engs, University of Pennsylvania
    C. Wyatt Evans, Drew University
    Daniel Feller, University of Tennessee
    Rex H. Felton, Tiffin, Ohio
    Paul Finkelman, Albany Law School
    Jeff Fioravanti, Lynn, Mass.
    Joseph C. Fitzharris, University of Saint Thomas
    J.K. Folmarm California, Minn.
    George B. Forgie, University of Texas Austin
    Lee W. Formwalt, Organization of American Historians
    Janet B. Frazer, Narberth, Pa.
    Gary W. Gallagher, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.
    Jonathan Gantt, Columbia College
    Jason Gart, History Associates, Inc.
    Louis S. Gerteis, University of Missouri, St. Louis
    Kate C. Gillin, the Pomfret School, Pomfret, Conn.
    Mary Giunta, Edinburg, Va.
    Martin K. Gordon, Columbia, Md.
    Cathy Gorn, University of Maryland
    Thomas M. Grace, Amherst, N.Y.
    Susan W. Gray, Severna Park, Md.
    A. Wilson Greene, Pamplin Historical Park and National Museum of the Civil War Soldier
    Debra F. Greene, Jefferson City, Mo.
    Jim Griffin, Frisco, Tex.
    Linda J. Guy, Clearville, Pa.
    Edward J. Hagerty, American Military University
    Alfred W. Hahn, Midlothian, Va.
    Judith Lee Hallock, South Setauket, N.Y.
    Jerry Harlow, President, Trevilian Station Battlefield Foundation
    D. Scott Hartwig, Gettysburg National Military Park, Pa.
    David S. Heidler, Colorado State University
    Jeannie Heidler, United States Air Force Academy
    John S. Heiser, Gettysburg National Military Park, Pa.
    Earl J. Hess, Lincoln Memorial University
    Libra Hilde, San Jose State University
    T. John Hillmer, Jr., Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, Mo.
    David Hochfelder, State University of New York – Albany
    Sylvia Hoffert, Texas A&M University
    Patrick Hotard, Philadelphia, Pa.
    Richard Houston, Harwich, Mass.
    Randal L. Hoyer, Madonna University
    Richard L. Hutchison, Fort Worth, Tex.
    Brian M. Ingrassia, Georgia State University
    Perry D. Jamieson, Crofton, Md.
    Jim Jobe, Fort Donelson National Battlefield, Tenn.
    Willie Ray Johnson, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, Ga.
    Vivian Lee Joyner, New Hill, N.C.
    Whitmel M. Joyner, New Hill, N.C.
    Walter D. Kamphoefner, Texas A&M University
    Amalie M. Kass, Harvard Medical School
    Philip M. Katz, Washington, D.C.
    Brad Keefer, Kent State University
    Brian J. Kenny, Denver, Co.
    Victoria A. Kin, San Antonio, Tex.
    George W. Knepper, University of Akron
    Christopher Kolakowski, National Museum of the U.S. Army Reserve
    Carl E. Kramer, Indiana University Southeast
    Arnold Krammer, Texas A&M University
    Robert K. Krick, Fredericksburg, Va.
    Michael E. Krivdo, Texas A&M University
    Benjamin Labaree, Saint Alban's School, Washington, D.C.
    Dan Laney, Austin, Tex.
    Connie Langum, Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, Mo.
    William P. Leeman, Coventry, R.I.
    Kevin Levin, Charlottesville, Va.
    Richard G. Lowe, University of North Texas
    Robert W. Lowery, Jr., Newport News, Va.
    M. Philip Lucas, Cornell College
    R. Wayne Mahood, Geneseo, N.Y.
    Daniel Martin, Lancaster, Pa.
    William Marvel, South Conway, N.H.
    Matthew Mason, Brigham Young University
    Dinah M. Mayo-Bobee, University of Massachusetts, Amherst
    George T. Mazuzan, Springfield, Va.
    Nathan McAlister, Hoyt, Kan.
    David McCullough
    Dennis K. McDaniel, Washington, D.C.
    James M. McPherson, Princeton University
    Kathleen G. McKesson, Eighty Four, Pa.
    James G. Mendez, Chicago, Ill.
    Brian Craig Miller, Emporia State University
    Roger E. Miller, Eagle River, Alaska.
    Wilbur R. Miller, State University of New York – Stony Brook
    Eric J. Mink, Fredericksburg, Va.
    Robert E. Mitchell, Brookline, Mass.
    John Moody, Orange Park, Fla.
    Richard Moore, Woodbridge, Va.
    Richard Morey, Kent Place School, Summit, N.J.
    Geoffrey Morrison, Saint Louis, Mo.
    Brenda Murray, North Pole, Alaska.
    Richard J. Myers, Doylestown, Pa.
    Eric Nedergaard, Mesa, Ariz.
    Robert D. Neuleib, Normal, Ill.
    Kenneth Noe, Auburn University
    Justin Oakley, Martinsville, Ind.
    Kristen Oertel, Millsaps College
    Marvin Olson, La Crescenta, Ca.
    Beverly Palmer, Claremont, Ca.
    John T. Payne, Lone Star College
    Graham Peck, Saint Xavier University
    William D. Pederson, Louisiana State University, Shreveport
    William E. Pellerin, Santa Barbara, Ca.
    Don Pfanz, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Va.
    Michael Pierson, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
    Kermit J. Pike, Western Reserve Historical Society, Mentor, Ohio
    Ann Poe, Alexandria, Va.
    Kieth Ploakoff, Rossmoor, Ca.
    Lawrence N. Powell, Tulane University
    Adam J. Pratt. Baton Rouge, La.
    Gerald Prokopowicz, East Carolina University
    John Quist, Shippensburg University
    Steven J. Rauch, Evans, Ga.
    S. Waite Rawls, III, Museum of the Confederacy
    Carol Reardon, Pennsylvania State University
    Douglas Reasner, Durant, Iowa
    Michael Reis, History Associates, Inc.
    Robert V. Remini, Office of the Historian, U.S. House of Representatives
    James Renberg, Southern Pines, N.C.
    Gordon Rhea, Mount Pleasant, S.C.
    Jean Richardson, Buffalo State College
    Jeffrey Richman, Brooklyn, N.Y.
    Harris D. Riley, Jr., M.D., Nashville, Tenn.
    James I. Robertson, Jr., Virginia Tech
    Stephen I. Rockenbach, Virginia State University
    Sylvia Rodrigue, Baton Rouge, La.
    Rodney A. Ross, Center for Legislative Archives, Washington, D.C.
    Jennifer Ross-Nazzal, Johnson Space Center
    Jeffrey J. Safford, Montana State University
    Frank Scaturro, New Hyde Park, N.Y.
    Mark S. Schantz, Hendrix College
    Laurence D. Schiller, Deerfield, Ill.
    Christopher A. Schnell, Springfield, Ill.
    Glenna R. Schroeder-Lein, Springfield, Ill.
    Frederick Schult, Jr., New York University
    Donald L. Schupp, Warrenton, Va.
    Richard D. Schwartz, Morristown, N.J.
    Cynthia Seacord, Schenectady, N.Y.
    Tomas Seaver, Woonsocket, R.I.
    Diane Shalda, Chicago Military Academy
    Peter D. Sheridan, Torrance, Ca.
    Mark Snyder, Akron, Ohio
    John Sotak, O.S.A., New Lenox, Ill.
    Clay W. Stuckey, DDS, Bedford, Ind.
    Carlyn Swaim, History Associates, Inc.
    Andrew Talkov, Virginia Historical Society
    Robert A. Taylor, Florida Institute of Technology
    Paul H. Tedesco, Northeastern University
    James Thayer, Milford, Mass.
    Emory M. Thomas, University of Georgia
    JoAnne Thomas, Peoria, Ill.
    Joseph Trent, Worcester, Mass.
    Tony R. Trimble, Plainfield, Ind.
    I. Bruce Turner, University of Louisiana at Lafayette
    Edwin C. Ulmer, Jr., Feasterville, Pa.
    Charles W. Van Adder, Forked River, N.J.
    Charles Vincent, Baker, La.
    Joseph F. von Deck, Ashburnham, Ma.
    Brent Vosburg, Elizabethtown, N.J.
    Robert Voss, Lincoln, Neb.
    George N. Vourlojianis, Lorain County Community College
    Christopher R. Waldrep, San Francisco State University
    John Weaver, Tipp City, Ohio
    Robert Welch, Ames, Iowa
    Lowell E. Wenger, Cincinnati, Ohio
    Jeffrey Wert, Centre Hall, Pa.
    Bruce E. Wilburn, Glen Allen, Va.
    Diana I. Williams, Wellesley College
    Mary Williams, Fort Davis National Historic Site, Tex.
    Terry Winschel, Vicksburg National Military Park, Miss.
    Roger Winthrop, Lansing, Mich.
    Eric J. Wittenberg, Columbus, Ohio
    Ralph A. Wooster, Lamar University
    Donald Yacovone, Harvard University
    Shirley J. Yee, University of Washington
    Mitchell Yockelson, National Archives and Records Administration
    William D. Young, Maple Woods Community College
    Mary E. Younger, Dayton, Ohio
    Jack Zevin, Queens College, City University of New York

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