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Fight to Keep Walmart from Va. Battlefield Alive

A judge has kept alive the battle to block a Walmart store near an endangered Civil War battlefield in Virginia.

A judge in Orange County ruled Friday that residents and a preservation group can go forward with a lawsuit to stop Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. from building a new Supercenter near the Wilderness Battlefield in Locust Grove. They argue the store threatens the historic site.

Orange County supervisors cleared the way for the store last August and asked Circuit Court Judge Daniel R. Bouton to dismiss the challenge.

Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and his union counterpart, Ulysses S. Grant, first met in battle at the Wilderness, where 180,000 soldiers fought and 26,000 were killed or injured 146 years ago. For Vermont, the death toll of 1,234 on May 5, 1864, amounted to 16 percent of the state's total combat deaths for the entire war.

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