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Posted at 2:14 PM ET, 10/12/2010

Historian to testify in Va. Civil War trial

By Washington Post editors

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian James McPherson has agreed to testify on behalf of northern Virginia residents attempting to block the construction of a Walmart Supercenter near an endangered Civil War battlefield.

McPherson will testify in January that the Walmart site in Locust Grove was blood-soaked ground in the Battle of the Wilderness, according to a summary of his testimony released Tuesday.

The testimony is intended to counter claims by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and supporters that the site was only a staging area for the 1864 battle.

Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee met in combat for the first time at the Battle of the Wilderness. It is viewed as a turning point in the war, which ended 11 months later.

A trial is scheduled in local circuit court.

-- Associated Press

By Washington Post editors  | October 12, 2010; 2:14 PM ET
Categories:  Virginia  
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Comments

The Battle of the Wilderness probably decided the American Civil War, because it was there, after his army was severely mauled, that Grant directed the famous "right turn" toward Richmond. Previous Union Generals had retreated after a thrashing. But as Grant told a reporter during the heat of the fighting in the Wilderness, "If you see the President, tell him from me that whatever happens there will be no turning back." No turning back. Freedom isn't free, and we don't need discount barns on this priceless ground, already purchased with the blood of our soldiers.

Posted by: Dave115 | October 12, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Following the stalemate at the Wildnerness, the same battlefield where Hooker met defeat in May 63, Grant headed his army south, which was situated on his left flank. At this point, the war in the East was won by Grant through attrition.

Posted by: CubsFan | October 12, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

They need to call David Hackett Fischer to testify. All in attendance will be mesmerized and the Walmart idea will go down in flames.

Posted by: mjwies11 | October 12, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

They need to call David Hackett Fischer to testify. All in attendance will be mesmerized and the Walmart idea will go down in flames.

Posted by: mjwies11 | October 12, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

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