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  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post

    Should have been more specific by mentioning the county in question for one. Also more specific about the rise of racism which seems to be on the rise in pockets of many states besides Virginia. Hopefully Shenandoah County is a blip on the radar screen. Yet like I said if Trump wins some states are going to be in for a hard time whether for liberal leanings or plain revenge. California would be an example of all that Trump and Evangelicals dislike.
    Yeah, you are right. If you take Shenandoah County and come south down to the NC/TN border and then go due east the old rules still apply minus a few pockets. PS: I live in this swath.

    But it is all because a Black man had the audacity to become President.

    Leave a comment:


  • tbm3fan
    replied
    Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post

    I have been in Virginia and have to say I disagree with you in part. Yes, there are still vestiges of the Lost Cause here...yeah, the home of Daughters of the Confederacy is here, some treat Jackson's grave as a shrine, and Southside and chunks of the Valley are the Old South. But the 3 metro areas...Northern Virginia, and Tidewater are getting bluer & bluer. Monument Avenue has been stripped of the Confederate statues. More and more successes by African AMericans are being celebrated & commemorated. Greater recognition has come of the USCT in the fights for Richmond. The American Civil War Center has totally revamped their interpretation with a truer telling of slave life and the impacts of Jim Crow. In short tremendous strides have been made.

    Politically I believe this current governor is a one off. He was elected because the 2 leading Democratic contenders crashed and burned...one with an old blackface photo and the other had a zipper problem. But our House & Senate are majority Democrat. This fall we have a couple of strong, young Dems running for Congress...one COL (Ret) Eugene Vindman, brother to the famous LTC Vindman. Also, Abigail Spanberger, a strong Centrist Democratic Congresswoman is running for governor in 2025. She has solid Congressional record as well as good national security chops having been a CIA analyst and case officer.

    There is still work to do but I would say the Old Dominion is gone never to return.
    Should have been more specific by mentioning the county in question for one. Also more specific about the rise of racism which seems to be on the rise in pockets of many states besides Virginia. Hopefully Shenandoah County is a blip on the radar screen. Yet like I said if Trump wins some states are going to be in for a hard time whether for liberal leanings or plain revenge. California would be an example of all that Trump and Evangelicals dislike.

    Leave a comment:


  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post

    The history of Virginia is especially bad as a state. Closing schools rather than desegregate. Bundling Lee-Jackson-King into one ridiculous holiday. The racist response to having to remove the Lee and Jackson statues in 2017. All that does is show what policy the citizens want to live by and it isn't pretty. Racism is alive and well and, frankly, seems to be gaining ground today.

    If Trump manages to win then we haven't seen nothing yet when it comes to that policy.
    I have been in Virginia and have to say I disagree with you in part. Yes, there are still vestiges of the Lost Cause here...yeah, the home of Daughters of the Confederacy is here, some treat Jackson's grave as a shrine, and Southside and chunks of the Valley are the Old South. But the 3 metro areas...Northern Virginia, and Tidewater are getting bluer & bluer. Monument Avenue has been stripped of the Confederate statues. More and more successes by African AMericans are being celebrated & commemorated. Greater recognition has come of the USCT in the fights for Richmond. The American Civil War Center has totally revamped their interpretation with a truer telling of slave life and the impacts of Jim Crow. In short tremendous strides have been made.

    Politically I believe this current governor is a one off. He was elected because the 2 leading Democratic contenders crashed and burned...one with an old blackface photo and the other had a zipper problem. But our House & Senate are majority Democrat. This fall we have a couple of strong, young Dems running for Congress...one COL (Ret) Eugene Vindman, brother to the famous LTC Vindman. Also, Abigail Spanberger, a strong Centrist Democratic Congresswoman is running for governor in 2025. She has solid Congressional record as well as good national security chops having been a CIA analyst and case officer.

    There is still work to do but I would say the Old Dominion is gone never to return.

    Leave a comment:


  • tbm3fan
    replied
    Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post

    No kidding
    The history of Virginia is especially bad as a state. Closing schools rather than desegregate. Bundling Lee-Jackson-King into one ridiculous holiday. The racist response to having to remove the Lee and Jackson statues in 2017. All that does is show what policy the citizens want to live by and it isn't pretty. Racism is alive and well and, frankly, seems to be gaining ground today.

    If Trump manages to win then we haven't seen nothing yet when it comes to that policy.

    Leave a comment:


  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    Originally posted by tbm3fan View Post

    160 years and one can see how deeply racism is engrained into the South. Not obvious like in 1920 but Jim Crow lives on in all those who claim to be descendants of whatever grandpappy from 1864. Won't change...
    No kidding

    Leave a comment:


  • tbm3fan
    replied
    Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
    Shenandoah County is in a deeply red part of the Valley. That the names were ever changed was, frankly, a surprise. The county is over 90% White and less than 2% Black with Hispanic being the largest minority. At it's southern end it is anchored by the shrine to the Confederacy of the New Market Battlefield. And our POS governor strongly backed the move. ANd your heritage...give me a fucking break. Your heritage covers a lot more than a 4 year timespan.
    160 years and one can see how deeply racism is engrained into the South. Not obvious like in 1920 but Jim Crow lives on in all those who claim to be descendants of whatever grandpappy from 1864. Won't change...

    Leave a comment:


  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    Shenandoah County is in a deeply red part of the Valley. That the names were ever changed was, frankly, a surprise. The county is over 90% White and less than 2% Black with Hispanic being the largest minority. At it's southern end it is anchored by the shrine to the Confederacy of the New Market Battlefield. And our POS governor strongly backed the move. ANd your heritage...give me a fucking break. Your heritage covers a lot more than a 4 year timespan.

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Virginia school board decides to rename schools after Confederate traitors, reversing 2020 decision


    The names of Confederate military leaders will be restored to two public schools following a school board vote in Shenandoah County, Virginia.

    By a 5-1 vote, the school board reversed a 2020 decision to change the names of schools, which will once again honor traitorous generals who fought for slavery: Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Turner Ashby.

    The board had stripped their names amid protests over the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. At the time, the board moved to change the names in another 5-1 vote, stating that it was committed to “condemning racism" and "an inclusive school environment for all.”

    What is today Mountain View High School will revert to being called Stonewall Jackson High School. Honey Run Elementary School will likewise be returning to its previous name, Ashby-Lee Elementary School.

    The conservative group, “Coalition for Better Schools," had petitioned school officials to change back the names, claiming that “revisiting this decision is essential to honor our community’s heritage and respect the wishes of the majority,” they wrote in their April 3 letter, NBC News reported.

    Before the decision was made, a black student had urged the school board not to rename the schools after people who supported the enslavement of Africans and their descendants.

    "I would have to represent a man that fought for my ancestors to be slaves," the student said. "I think it is unfair to me that restoring the names is up for discussion."
    ______________

    Aaaaaand back we go the other way.

    Leave a comment:


  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    Originally posted by TopHatter View Post

    Wiki probably has the most comprehensive list
    Yeah, this is a good source. All the Army posts have been renamed. Fort Belvoir, just south of DC, is under consideration as well as it is named for a slave plantation. That final decision has been pushed to FY26 budget.

    What has not been named, and NOT under federal control, are the numerous State National Guard installations in former Confederate states still carrying Confederate names. They have been recommended to change but they do not follow under DOD for funding and are wholly state owned.

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Originally posted by kato View Post
    Is there an official list somewhere of bases/forts/ships etc that have been renamed in the US Military?

    For example i can pull up a list of the 22 (West) German bases that have been renamed since 1990, each listed with a reason (in 15 cases "lack of a connection in values").
    Wiki probably has the most comprehensive list

    Leave a comment:


  • kato
    replied
    Is there an official list somewhere of bases/forts/ships etc that have been renamed in the US Military?

    For example i can pull up a list of the 22 (West) German bases that have been renamed since 1990, each listed with a reason (in 15 cases "lack of a connection in values").

    Leave a comment:


  • tbm3fan
    replied
    Shortly before the fort’s name was changed, I published an essayexpressing support for the change. I received a barrage of negative responses on social media accusing me of being “woke” — of turning my back, in their view, on my family. Turning my back on my family? The family that owned hundreds of slaves and committed treason? Others have said they were baffled by my failure to recognize the rare honor bestowed on my family in having a military base named after a relative. Not many families have federal installations named after them so, surely, I must be proud of the designation. Honor is more than a word, however. There was nothing honorable about taking up arms against this country.
    Sums things up in a nutshell. There are some, no doubt many, who still want the South to resemble what it was in the past and are careful in how they masquerade their words.

    Leave a comment:


  • Albany Rifles
    replied
    An interesting and thought provoking editorial where a descendant of a Confederate leader fully approved her family name being removed from a US Army post. In fact she supported the idea so much she joined BG Seidul's Commission to come up with a new name. Very telling was she chose to not follow family footsteps and become an Army officer. Instead she served in the Coast Guard because she wanted to forestall the inevitable questions coming with her name which Army service would have brought with it.

    https://www.cnn.com/2024/04/29/opini...ker/index.html

    Opinion: My family lost the Civil War. Last year they finally lost this symbol of power


    Opinion by K. Denise Rucker Krepp
    8 minute read
    Updated 9:25 AM EDT, Mon April 29, 2024

    A change of command ceremony in June 2013, when the base now called Fort Novosel was still called Fort Rucker, in honor of the author's Confederate ancestor. Sara E. Martin/US Army
    Editor’s Note: K. Denise Rucker Krepp, a career Navy civilian employee, is a former Maritime Administration chief counsel who started her federal career as a Coast Guard officer. She subsequently served as a Transportation Security Administration lawyer and House of Representatives Homeland Security Committee senior counsel. The views expressed in this commentary are her own. Read more opinion at CNN.
    CNN —

    K. Denise Rucker Krepp Rucker Krepp Photo

    My family’s Rucker surname is familiar in some military circles and among many who consider themselves aficionados of Confederate history. The Ruckers have a history of military service going back generations. They’ve also had deep roots in America’s shameful Confederate past. That includes my distant cousin, Col. Edmund Rucker.

    The United Daughters of the Confederacy named a chapter in Alabama after Col. Rucker about 37 years ago. But an even bigger honor came back in 1942, when the US military named an Army base in Alabama after him. The base bore the name Fort Rucker until one year ago this month, when the military stripped it away.

    To be clear, I’m not proud of my family’s legacy or its history in one of the darkest chapters of America’s past. I’m also not blind to the fact that I share the Rucker name with many Black Americans. Ruckers and their relatives owned plantations throughout the South, including in Virginia, Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama.

    There are even communities bearing the family name — “Ruckersville” — in Virginia and Georgia. It’s never far from my mind, when I meet a Black American bearing the Rucker name, that there’s a good chance we are connected, although not by marriage. We are, quite possibly, related by slavery.

    A step toward justice and healing


    Having a military base or other military asset named after an ancestor is a big deal. It turns out that getting that name removed is no small thing. But in the case of Confederates like Edmund Rucker having their names removed from bases it was a necessary step toward justice and healing.

    The process of changing the name of Fort Rucker began in 2020 amid the protests that erupted as a result of the killing of George Floyd and the subsequent discussions about racism. Congress included a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 creating a commission tasked with recommending new names for, or removal of, military assets named after Confederates. Former President Donald Trump vetoed the legislation, but there was overwhelming bipartisan and bicameral support for the change, and Congress voted to override him.

    Edmund Winchester Rucker, former officer in the Confederate States Army in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1920George M. Cruikshank/Wikimedia Commons

    The military services assigned liaisons to help the commission identify assets named for Confederates and I was asked to be the Navy liaison. I was thrilled to be able to take part in the process of removing my family’s name from the Army base in Alabama. And there are other Confederate descendants who supported renaming federal assets bearing the names of relatives who, instead of fighting to preserve the United States, fought to dissolve it.

    Until then, I hadn’t spoken about my family lineage to my bosses at the US Navy. I hadn’t shared that I’m part of the same family for whom Fort Rucker was named. I hadn’t shared that my great, great, great grandfather Howell Cobb was president of the Provisional Confederate Congress and had sworn in Jefferson Davis as president of the Confederate States of America. Nor had I shared that Cobb had authorized construction of the ship that fired the first naval shot in the Civil War. I quickly told Navy leaders who I was, and they told me that I had a job to do. My next phone call was to the Army. They were providing administrative support to the Naming Commission. A Rucker was going to help them.

    Prior to joining the Navy as a civilian, I’d served on active duty in the Coast Guard. My parents were both Army officers so my military service wasn’t unexpected, but the choice of service was. From time to time, my parents asked me why I hadn’t joined the Army, as they had. My answer was always the same — because I didn’t want to have to answer questions about my last name. Growing up as an Army brat, I was repeatedly asked if I had any connection to Fort Rucker. I didn’t want to have to answer the same questions as a military officer.

    Once the renaming process was underway, however, that anonymity was over. The creation of the Naming Commission led me to examine anew how my family’s history, including the very Rucker name, had hurt others over centuries. I was especially mindful about the experience of Black American military personnel.

    How, I wondered, did Black Army personnel feel about serving on a base named for a Confederate? How did it feel to be required to wear shirts emblazoned with the name of a man who supported slavery? And I’ve often asked myself how Black Americans felt about reciting the Pledge of Allegiance at a military base named for someone who fought against the Union and who was committed to their subjugation and enslavement.

    Shortly before the fort’s name was changed, I published an essayexpressing support for the change. I received a barrage of negative responses on social media accusing me of being “woke” — of turning my back, in their view, on my family. Turning my back on my family? The family that owned hundreds of slaves and committed treason? Others have said they were baffled by my failure to recognize the rare honor bestowed on my family in having a military base named after a relative. Not many families have federal installations named after them so, surely, I must be proud of the designation. Honor is more than a word, however. There was nothing honorable about taking up arms against this country.

    Honor is more than a word


    The renaming process went on for months. Every now and again during the commission’s tenure, my father Army Col.T.W. Rucker would ask about how things were going with the renaming. We talked about Col. Edmund Rucker and about General Henry Lewis Benning, another relation for whom an Army base, Fort Benning, was named in Georgia. Dad expressed pride and support for my participation in the process. My cousins and sisters shared the same message — keep going, Denise.

    More than once, my father shared that in other countries men who commit treason were shot. That didn’t happen to my family members, however. Grandpa Cobb’s portrait was hung in the US Capitol until 2020, when it was taken down. My great, great grandfather Tinsley White Rucker served as a Confederate soldier and then later in life served as a member of the US Congress. Another relative, Lucius Q.C. Lamar, became the first former Confederate to join the US Senate in 1877. Then-President Grover Cleveland named Lamar to be Secretary of the Interior in 1885 and then Lamar became a justice on the Supreme Court in 1888. My family lost the war, but they never lost power.

    UNITED STATES - CIRCA 1864: The Battle of Nashville, was a two-day battle in iin which the author's relative Col. E. W. Rucker took part. It was fought at Nashville, Tennessee on December 15 and December 16, 1864, and was one of the largest victories achieved by the Union Army in the war. Buyenlarge/Getty Images

    Of course, in my family’s many generations of military service, there were some who served honorably. My father and his brother served in Vietnam. My uncle was badly shot up, but came home alive. Over 58,200 Americans reportedly did not, and their names are forever etched on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. I associate the memorial with my dad’s West Point reunions.

    Each Washington, DC gathering included a wreath-laying ceremony honoring the classmates who were killed. Some of the family and loved ones of those who did not come home also attended the reunions. Each time was a poignant reminder to me how lucky I was to have my dad in my life — he was there for my college graduation and for my wedding.

    Fort Novosel


    I thought of those reunions when I learned about the selection of Army Chief Warrant Officer 4 Michael Joseph Novosel Sr., whose name came to replace that of my forebear at Fort Rucker. Novosel served in three wars — World War II, Korea and Vietnam. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for actions taken in Vietnam. He risked his life to save others.

    Novosel flew 2,543 missions in Vietnam and helped evacuate more than 5,500 wounded personnel. Because of him, fathers, brothers, uncles, and sons came home. They lived to see major milestones in the lives of their family members. I can’t think of a better hero to replace the name of my cousin who betrayed this country.

    The new Fort Novosel signage in April 2023. Kelly Morris/US Army
    Millions of American men and women are serving in our military or have already served. Many more will serve in the future. Each service member raises their hand to pledge allegiance to the United States. It is right and just that the federal bases and ships on which they serve are named not for traitors to our country, but instead honor American heroes like Novosel.

    I still get pushback sometimes over my decision to take part in the process to correct a historic wrong that honored the military service of a man who deserved to be reviled. I recently attended a history conference where I was chastised for supporting the Naming Commission. One attendee criticized the decision to remove honorable, historic Southern names from our monuments. I countered that the names weren’t honorable, and he disagreed. I then volunteered that I’m a Rucker and that I supported the change. That’s when he stopped talking.

    I didn’t attend last year’s renaming ceremony of Fort Rucker to Fort Novosel in April of last year. I was thousands of miles away at the time, visiting family in Wales. I found a dry spot at Caernarfon Castle to watch the ceremony on my phone. Most folks associate the Welsh destination as the investiture site of the then-Prince of Wales. For me, it has come to symbolize something else — a new page in American history and the end of a chapter in my own family’s dark story.

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    For 150 years, Black journalists have known what Confederate monuments really stood for


    Confederate leaders Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson and Jefferson Davis are depicted in this carving on Stone Mountain, Ga.

    In October 2023, nearly seven years after the deadly Unite the Right white supremacist rally, the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, was melted down. Since then, two more major Confederate monuments have been removed: the Confederate Memorial at Arlington National Cemetery and the Monument to the Women of the Confederacy in Jacksonville, Florida.

    Defenders of Confederate monuments have argued that the statues should be left standing to educate future generations. One such defender is former President Donald Trump, the likely GOP presidential nominee in 2024.

    “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” Trump tweeted in 2017. “The beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!”

    But since the end of the Civil War, journalists at Black newspapers have told a different story. Despite meager financing and constant threats, these newspapers represented the views of Black Americans and documented the nation’s shortcomings in achieving racial equality.

    According to many of these writers, the statues were never designed to tell the truth about the Civil War. Instead, the monuments were built to enshrine the myth of the “Lost Cause,” the false claim that white Southerners nobly fought for states’ rights – and not to preserve slavery.

    In 1921, for instance, the Chicago Defender published an article under the headline “Tear the Spirit of the Confederacy from the South” and called for the removal of the statues from across the country because they “lend inspiration to the heart of the lyncher.”

    ‘Lost Cause’ propaganda
    For the last several years, I’ve studied the history of Confederate monuments by poring over the letters and records of the organizations that campaigned for their construction. My research students and I have also reviewed countless reactions to the monuments published in real time in Black newspapers.

    What is clear is that from the late nineteenth century until today, Confederate monuments were part of a relentless propaganda campaign to restore the South’s reputation at dedication ceremonies, parades, reunions and Memorial Day events.

    The dedication in Charlottesville of the Lee monument in 1924 – 100 years ago this May – was one such event.

    Timed to coincide with a reunion of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, the speakers openly bragged about how they were sweeping Northern-authored textbooks out of Southern schools and replacing them with friendlier accounts of the Civil War.


    Ku Klux Klan members march under a burning cross near Washington in 1925.

    In the weeks leading up to the dedication, members of the Ku Klux Klan paraded down Charlottesville’s Main Street in daylight and burned crosses in the hills at night.

    The master of ceremonies of that unveiling was R.T.W. Duke, Jr., the son of a Confederate colonel who was a popular orator at events like these.

    A few years earlier, Duke made his own views of the Civil War plain.

    He told a crowd gathered at a Confederate cemetery in Richmond, Virginia, that he was “still a believer in the righteousness of what some of our own people now call the ‘rebellion.‘”

    Duke further said “that slavery was right and emancipation a violation of the Constitution, a wrong and a robbery.”

    A critical Black press
    Contrary to the claims of today’s defenders of Confederate monuments, a review of Black newspapers going back to the 1870s conducted by my research team shows that Black journalists’ criticism of these memorials had already begun by the late nineteenth century.

    The first truly national Confederate monument was the statue of Robert E. Lee in Richmond. It was unveiled before an audience of as many as 150,000 attendees on May 29, 1890, and provoked sharp alarm among Black commentators across the country.

    In a May 31, 1890, article, Richmond Planet editor John Mitchell, Jr. pointed out that Confederate flags and emblems far outnumbered U.S. flags at the unveiling.


    John Mitchell Jr. at the Richmond Planet in 1917.

    “This glorification of States Rights Doctrine, the right of ‘secession’ and the honoring of men who represented that cause, fosters in this Republic the spirit of Rebellion and will ultimately result in handing down to generations unborn a legacy of treason and blood,” Mitchell wrote.

    Mitchell further detailed the enthusiasm of the crowd assembled in Richmond.

    “Cheer after cheer rang out upon the air as fair women waved handkerchiefs and screamed to do honor,” Mitchell wrote. But the South’s insistence on celebrating Lee “serves to retard its progress in the country and forges heavier chains with which to be bound.”

    By reprinting articles from other Black publications, the Planet in 1890 effectively created a forum for commentary on the Richmond Lee statue from around the country.


    The statue of Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Va., in 1905.

    An article republished from the National Home Protector, a Baltimore-based Black newspaper, also took aim at the statue.

    “When the unveiling of the monument is used as an opportunity to justify the southern people in rebelling against the U.S. government and to flaunt the Confederate flag in the faces of the loyal people of the nation the occasion calls for serious reflection,” the article said.

    The editors of the newspaper accused white Southerners of trying to use the glorification of Lee to resurrect the “corpse of rebellion.”

    Writing truth to power
    No one knows what the Black-owned Charlottesville Messenger said about the unveiling of the Lee monument in its city in 1924.

    Only one copy of a single issue still exists. In fact, one of the only things known about the Messenger is that in 1921, the white-dominated Charlottesville Daily Progress reprinted a Messenger article that called for Black civil rights. The Black newspaper later retracted the story after receiving threats from white supremacists.

    But we do know what other Black newspapers of this period were saying about Confederate monuments. For many Black editors, the monuments had become symbols of the violent backlash against Black citizenship by white Southerners.

    In 1925, the Pittsburgh Courier, criticized the Confederate carving on Stone Mountain in Georgia, the site of the rebirth of the Ku Klux Klan.

    Taking square aim at the Lost Cause myth, the newspaper called Stone Mountain “a living monument of the cause to which white Southerners have dedicated their lives: human slavery and color selfishness.”

    The Confederate monument on the side of Stone Mountain still stands today.

    Telling the truth about American history requires transforming these memorials into true reflections of the seemingly never-ending battles initially fought during the Civil War.
    ____________

    Leave a comment:


  • TopHatter
    replied
    Fort Gordon renamed Eisenhower, last of 9 bases scrubbed of Civil War names
    The home of the Army's Cyber Command and Signal Corps changed its name from that of a Confederate general to the former president and World War II supreme commander.


    Fort Gordon was renamed Fort Eisenhower on October 27, the last of nine Army bases to replace the name of a Confederate officer.

    The current Secretary of the Army arrived at Friday’s ceremony in a vintage World War II jeep, a throwback image that fit the moment of renaming an Army base dedicated to modern high-tech warfare after a general synonymous with wars of the last century.

    Fort Gordon, home of the Army’s Cyber Command, Signal Corps and both the Cyber and Signal schools, is now Fort Eisenhower, a namesake of the former president and supreme commander of allied forces during the decisive years of World War II.

    Eisenhower’s new base commander, Major Gen. Paul T. Stanton, noted in a brief speech that the ceremony was being held on the same parade ground where Eisenhower gave a final address to troops as he neared the end of his presidency.

    “Gen. Eisenhower, sir, we are on the same field where it thrills our hearts to fulfill your legacy,” said Stanton. “To reuse your 1952 campaign slogan, ‘it’s time for a change.’ And here on Fort Eisenhower, ‘we like Ike.’”

    The new name for base located in August, Georgia is the last of nine post renamings across the Army as the Pentagon finishes removing the names of Confederate army officers from Army installations. Fort Eisenhower joins Fort Liberty, Fort Moore and six other bases along with a long list of memorials and artwork with Confederate ties that the Pentagon has removed from public view.

    ‘The last salute of the Confederacy’
    Camp Gordon opened just two months before the attack on Pearl Harbor pulled the US into World War II. The base was a major training ground for forces headed to the European theater, but has for most of its life been a hub for the Army’s high tech-oriented signal corps and, since 2010, Cyber Command.

    The fort’s former namesake, John Brown Gordon, was a Confederate genera, post-war Senator and Governor of Georgia and a slaveowner. As a commander, Gordon was one of the Confederate army’s brightest stars, rising from rank-and-file captain to one of General Robert E. Lee’s top generals by the war’s end. He was one of Lee’s primary commanders in the very final battle of the war, and is said to have given “the last salute of the Confederate army,” saluting a Union general during a surrender ceremony at Appomattox, Virginia.

    Gordon was also connected to the growth of the Ku Klux Klan in post-war Georgia,and members of his extended family have recently campaigned to have statues of him removed elsewhere in Georgia.

    Five-star general and president
    Eisenhower was a late and somewhat controversial pick as the new namesake of Fort Gordon, according to reporting in the Washington Post in 2022, though the controversy was not about Eisenhower’s qualifications. The Texan holds a rarified spot in American history as both the senior general in the coalition that smashed Nazi Germany and as the president who launched both the interstate highway system and the Civil Rights Act of 1957, the nation’s first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.

    The base is not even Eisenhower’s first military naming honor: the Navy launched the USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier in 1975.

    In remarks at the renaming ceremony, Eisenhower’s grand daughter and biographer Susan Eisenhower recounted that the future general was lucky to be in the Army at all. Born to a poor family, he won a spot at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point only when another appointed cadet failed a physical. He went on to serve in World War I and command allied forces as a five-star general through the invasion of Europe to the end of World War II. He retired from the Army in 1952 to run for president, serving two terms and overseeing a massive post-war boom in American economic power and the first skirmishes in the civil rights movement.

    Many ties to area, fewer to Fort Gordon
    But many saw Eisenhower as a peculiar pick for Fort Gordon when the Federal Naming Commission released its final report and recommendations in August 2022.

    Of the nine renamed bases, seven now honor soldiers whose Army careers had strong ties to each installation. The one exception is Fort Liberty which, according to the Commission, is named for an American “value,” a pick that Task and Purpose reported in June was a compromise pick suggested by a Gold Star mother. But Eisenhower was never stationed at Fort Gordon nor was he closely connected to the signals and communication work done there.

    However, Eisenhower developed strong post-Army ties to the nearby Augusta National Golf Club as president, an exclusive golf club that hosts The Masters golf tournament. The Post cited records in Eisenhower’s presidential archive that recorded Eisenhower playing golf at the club 29 times during his presidency but visiting the base that now bears his name just once, near the end of his time in office.

    Five of the nine renamed bases were named for soldiers who were not white, a criteria that the Naming Commission was charged to consider in producing a list that “reflects the Armed Forces population.”

    In the Naming Commission’s final report, Eisenhower was picked ahead of 11 other finalists, nine of whom were not white.

    The other 11 finalists:

    Colonel John Aiso, a Japanese American, who rose from motor pool duty to overseeing a wartime language program that produced 6,000 Japanese speakers during World War II.

    Lt. Col. Alexander Augusta, a black Civil War surgeon, was the highest ranking Black soldier in the Union Army.

    Private First Class Milton Lee, a 19-year-old radioman, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for combat heroism in Vietnam.

    Sgt. First Class William Bryant, a Georgia-native who and one the first Black Special Forces soldiers, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for combat heroism in Vietnam.

    Corporal Charles Chittbitty, one of 13 Comanche Code Talkers to come ashore on D-Day as a radioman.

    Master Sgt. José López, a native of Mexico and one of 12 latino Medal of Honor recipients in WWII, which he recieved for heroism at the Battle of the Bulge.

    Capt. Kimberly Hampton, who grew up about two hours from Augusta, was the first female Army helicopter pilot killed in Iraq in 2004.

    Command Sergeant Major Mildred Kelly, the first Black woman in the Army to reach the rank of sergeant major.

    Lt. General Emmett Paige, Jr., who enlisted in 1947 and rose to the rank of three-star general, spent his entire career in the Signal Corps, becoming its first Black general officer.

    Corporal Freddie Stowers, an Anderson, South Carolina-native and World War I Medal of Honor recipient, Stowers did not receive the Medal until 1991, a delay attributed to racial bias in Army leaders of his time.

    Captain Humbert Versace, a Hawaii native and West Point graduate, Versace was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor for his courage and inspirational behavior as a POW in Vietnam.
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