US Army sets dates for Confederate cleanup
The US Army has set dates to rename six bases named after Confederate heroes, following through on last year’s recommendation that its properties be purged of all “names, symbols, displays, monuments and paraphernalia” honoring those who fought for the South during the US Civil War.
Fort Pickett, an Army National Guard base in rural Virginia, was the first of the nine to be renamed, becoming Fort Barfoot on Friday. Dropping its original namesake Confederate Maj. Gen. George Pickett, the base now venerates Col. Van Barfoot, a Native American World War II Medal of Honor recipient who also fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars.
Fort Hood in central Texas will be next, becoming Fort Cavazos on April 9, the base announced on Friday. Taking its name from Gen. Richard Cavazos, the Army’s first Hispanic four-star general and a hero of the Korean and Vietnam wars, the troubled base will shed its association with Gen. John Bell Hood, who resigned his commission with the Union Army to join the Confederates.
On April 10, Alabama’s Fort Rucker will become Fort Novosel, in honor of Michael Novosel, an Army chief warrant officer and Medal of Honor recipient who fought in the Vietnam War. It was previously named for Confederate Gen. Edmund Rucker.
Fort Lee, a Virginia base named after Confederate leader Robert E. Lee, is due to be renamed Fort Gregg-Adams on April 27, after black three-star General Arthur Gregg and Charity Adams, the first black woman to become an officer in the Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps.
Georgia’s Fort Benning, named after Confederate Brig. Gen. Henry Benning, is set to become Fort Moore on May 11 in honor of Hal Moore, who led the US in its first large-scale battle of the Vietnam War, and his wife Julia Moore, an Army Community Service advocate. Fort Bragg, the sprawling North Carolina base named after Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg, will be renamed Fort Liberty on June 2.
The bases were the first objects to be targeted for reconstruction by the Naming Commission, a body empaneled by Congress in 2021 to purge anything that could be perceived as venerating the Confederacy from US government property in the wake of the previous year’s Black Lives Matter protests, several of which targeted Confederate monuments for destruction.
Three more bases - Fort Gordon, Fort AP Hill, and Fort Polk - have no dates set for their renaming, according to Military Times.