Katie Couric's Notebook: The Civil War and Walmart

CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric
CBS Evening News Anchor Katie Couric.
It's been nearly 145 years since the end of the Civil War, and Walmart just surrendered.

The nation's largest retailer recently announced it's giving up plans to build a Supercenter near the site of an important Civil War battlefield.

The Battle of the Wilderness was fought over three brutal days in May 1864 - in the tangled woods of Orange County, Virginia. By the end, 30,000 Union and Confederate troops were dead, wounded or missing.

The plans for the store drew instant fire from historians, and a court battle has dragged on for years.

Walmart supporters had a point: 300 new jobs would be welcome in any community. But the argument was about where to build it.

My late husband Jay was a history buff who loved studying the Civil War.

And he opened my eyes to an important lesson: You can't build a better future without preserving some of the hallowed ground and important lessons from the past.

That's a page from my notebook.

I'm Katie Couric, CBS News.