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Walmart near Va. battlefield challenged


Richmond, Va. Preservationists and residents filed a legal challenge Wednesday to block construction of a Walmart Supercenter near a famed battlefield where the Civil War began to turn in favor of the North, according to the Associated Press.

The legal action is aimed at an Aug. 25 vote by the Orange County Board of Supervisors approving the store near Virginia’s Wilderness Battlefield.

The battlefield where 30,000 Union and Confederate soldiers were injured or killed 145 years ago is considered one of the nation's most endangered Civil War sites, according to preservationists.

The suit contends that supervisors "brushed aside" mounting concerns about the negative impact the store would have on the battlefield and approved the special-use permit Walmart needed to build the big-box store. The vote was 4-1.

Supervisors have 21 days to file a response in the Orange County court.

Wal-Mart Stores described the legal challenge as having "no merit or basis in fact."

"Throughout this entire process we have not only met but exceeded the guidelines that were put before us," said Keith Morris, a spokesman for Wal-Mart.

He said site work had not yet begun on the 138,000-sq.-ft. store in Locust Grove, which is about 50 miles southwest of Washington, D.C.

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