HOPE MILLS, NC – The great-grandson of a (Confederate) veteran buried at the site of a new Walmart Neighborhood Market said he plans to visit the grave this month and looks forward to seeing the site maintained.
Gary Kepley, who lives in Greensboro, said Walmart has been working with him on getting access to the site.
“So far they’ve worked well with me,” Kepley said. “I don’t have any complaints.”
The grave site came to attention during a years-long battle over approval of the Walmart at Legion and Elk roads. The store is under construction; a Walmart spokesman said an early 2017 opening is planned.
The area was formerly residential. But homeowners sold their property, saying growth in the area made it no longer suitable for homes.
Other Hope Mills residents bitterly opposed the Walmart, saying it would lead to an increase in crime and traffic.
John H. Pridgeon, a Confederate Civil War veteran who died in 1903, is apparently buried at the formerly wooded site, which is about a third of an acre. Kepley said two of Pridgeon’s relatives may also be buried there, including a child less than a month old.
Walmart had sought to have the graves relocated, but reconfigured its site plan to accommodate the graves after Kepley and other family members complained…