So What’s the Next Move?

I’ve stated that the proposed construction of a new Wal-Mart on the Wilderness battlefield is a bad idea and, along with 252 other historians, signed the Civil War Preservation Trust’s letter addressed to the CEO of the company. But even with all of the attention generated in newspapers over the past few weeks it is only a matter of time before permits are handed out and the ground paved over. What I want to know is at what point should preservationists begin to work with Wal-Mart to propose ways to minimize the site’s impact on the surrounding battlefield. Are there ways to configure the entrance, the parking lots, as well as the building itself in a way that would preserve some of the viewsheds? While I admire the efforts of the CWPT to bring the issue of battlefield preservation to the attention of the general public, it seems to me that an opportunity would have been lost if company executives are not engaged at all.  How about asking Wal-Mart to buy a parcel of land in the area and donate it to the CWPT in the name of battlefield preservation?

That’s just one idea.  What other ideas are out there?

Is Civil War News Worth the Paper It’s Printed On?

Someone was kind enough to include my name on a subscription list for Civil War News.  While I am appreciative, why the hell would you mail a hard copy of a publication that is available Online?  One possibility is that there is still a significant number of subscribers who, for whatever reason, do not have access to a computer.  That said, isn't this just a huge waste of paper?  I went through it in about 5 minutes and learned that there are a lot of strange things going on in the Civil War community.

I did notice an advertisement for the Capital of the Confederacy Civil War Show, which will take place on Nov. 22 & 23 in Richmond.  Although my Civil War Memory course does not begin until after Thanksgiving a number of students in my current course on the Civil War will be taking it so I've decided to organize a trip to the show.   It should give my students a sense of how the Civil War continues to be remembered through the sale of relics, books, and other items.  Students can listen in on conversations and perhaps even talk to some of the people representing various organizations as well as the dealers.

What do you think, is it worth it?