TO PARAPHRASE Ronald Reagan, here we go again. It seems like only yesterday when the community was fighting Wal-Mart to keep a big-box store off George Washington’s boyhood home. Now another historic property is threatened, and the question is: Who will win the second Battle of the Wilderness?

The original, of course, was the 1864 conflagration between Gens. Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant. The first meeting of the two on the field of arms took place in western Spotsylvania and eastern Orange counties, a wild, thicket-laced area along the old Plank Road. The battle involved over 160,000 troops and marked the start of Grant’s Overland Campaign, an offensive that took the Union Army clear down to Richmond. Before the smoke cleared–literally: bullets set the dry brush on fire and many wounded burned to death–almost 4,000 soldiers rested in the arms of God.

This year’s invaders cannot rightfully be called Yankees, since Wal-Mart is headquartered in Bentonville, Ark., and trades with the world. But the 142,000-square-foot store it proposes could be as devastating as anything Grant unleashed…

Full Story: