Sound Off: Should the Pentagon Eliminate Confederate Base Names?



Whether everyone agrees or not, America has collectively decided that the Confederate battle flag is more a symbol of the fight against civil rights in the ’50s and ’60s than it is a reflection of the South’s heritage. Flags are coming down all over America and Bo & Luke Duke are likely casualties of the change.

Now there’s a new issue: activists want the Pentagon to change the name of Army bases named after Confederate officers. This is no small request. Among the ten bases that would be changed are some of the Army’s most iconic locations:

  • Fort Bragg, North Carolina, named for Gen. Braxton Bragg.
  • Fort Hood, Texas, named for Gen. John Bell Hood.
  • Fort Gordon, Georgia, named for Lt. Gen. John B. Gordon, who was reputed to be the leader of the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia after the war.
  • Fort Lee, Virginia, home of the Army’s Quartermaster School and named for Gen. Robert E. Lee.
  • Fort Polk, Louisiana, named for the slave owner and ardent secessionist Gen. Leonidas Polk.
  • Fort Rucker, Alabama, named for Col. Edmund Rucker, who became a leading industrialist in Birmingham after the war.
  • Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia, named for Lt. Gen. A.P. Hill who was killed at the battle of Petersburg a week before the war ended.
  • Fort Pickett, Virginia, named for Maj. Gen. George Pickett who was in command for “Pickett’s charge” at Gettysburg. Pickett went to Canada for a year after the war, fearing he would be tried as a traitor.
  • Fort Benning, Georgia, named for Brig. Gen. Henry Benning, a slavery supporter and politician.
  • Camp Beauregard, Louisiana, named for Gen. Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard, whose troops fired the shots at Fort Sumter, S.C., that started the Civil War.

The Pentagon says  there’s “no current discussion” about any kind of name change and says that each service is responsible for naming its own facilities.

A lot of folks who believe we should the Confederate flag from public buildings seem to take issue with the idea that we should eliminate Confederate history from our national record. Taking down a CSA flag that’s been revived and appropriated as a symbol of racial division is one thing, but pretending we didn’t fight a war with ourselves is another. Naming military facilities after Confederate war heroes was an effort to rebuild the country’s connections after the war. Spend any time around the modern military and you’ll meet a lot of veterans and active duty men and women who descended from men who fought for the CSA during the Civil War.

Should the United States military deny its Confederate heritage? Should the United States pretend we didn’t fight our bloodiest conflict with ourselves? Or are facilities like Fort Hood and Fort Benning important reminders of our complicated history? Sound off!

  • Rivrat 1970

    Now some are really “tilting at windmills.” Everybody, or nearly so, recognizes the Confederate.flag as a symbol of the Southern States during the Civil War.

    It wasn’t until this article that I had much in the way of clues as to base names. Let them be. Think of all the cost involved just in administrative details. Remember when George W. Bush changed out all the major commands? Nobody could be a CinC except the President. Millions spent changing signs all the way down to name tags.

    Maybe we should look at all the weapon systems and their names. Could reach to USS Nimitz … why Nuremberg Trials did not charge a Nazi Admiral for unrestricted warfare at sea. Truman? Dropped the nukes.

    Whoops…was there an edict re. the Redskins? Oh there are Custer Counties in at least four States.

    • Joe Zot


    • USMarine64

      Agree with you. I wouldn’t be surprised that anyone in the military with the last name of Lee, Jackson, etc should be forced to change their name just for PC purposes.

    • Audie Dame

      Absolutely NOT. Many of the Confederate General officers were graduates of West Point and were close and lifelong friends of Union Generals. Robert E. Lee was offered command of all Union Forces and declined by saying, “Where Virginia goes, I go.” I served on several Army bases named for Confederate Generals and those bases were proud of the names they bore. To me, it serves as a reminder that our country should never again become so divided over issues that we wage war against each other.

    • J. Mitchell

      I believe we some are taking this to far. Next they will want to change the name of the Southern States fighting with the Confederates.

  • ferreiradr

    Hell no!

    • JoeB

      No Way!

  • CTOCS77

    How many times are they going to ask this question? NO!

  • CTOCS77

    Remove every street name with a Union General south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Also any City/State with ties to the UK. Remove the British Flag out of the Hawaiian Flag…We can just go on and on.

    • shipfixr

      Why just ‘South’ of the Mason-Dixon line?

  • guest

    Not only NO, but hell NO.

  • Retired CSM

    Absolutely not. The bases were so named in honor of the military prowess and skills of the honorees, not because of their political beliefs.

    • MSG

      Well said CSM. I couldn’t have put it any better. Leave my military alone . It isn’t broke.

    • MAJ.D

      In some cases I agree regarding prowess, but to take one example, how Braxton Bragg got a base named after him is still a mystery to me.

  • Colin

    When will this lunacy end? Political “correctness” will end in everything of value taken out of history and the true meaning of things, all in the name of placating the ignorant few.

  • Tom W. Veteran

    It’s history and heritage, not hate! The usual suspect’s have had their day and have had their ever so small pound of flesh, so lets hear no more of it! To which I say and add a resounding “No”!

  • Norman Walters

    Why don’t we just change the name of the United States of America back to the “New World” back when Columbus and Vespucci where sent on a mission to see what if any other lands existed to the west? Then just start calling every state by it’s number when it joined the New World? See how f**g stupid all that sounds? How many African-Americans were born in any country in Africa? Of those that were not, how can they be called “African” Americans when they had nothing to do with it, so I guess we should demand that the continent of Africa be changed to the Jungle & Desert Continent. I mean, come on, when does all this stupidity stop? ……….. If we are going to deny Southerners their heritage then how can we do anything less than to deny everyone else their heritage? …… It gets pretty petty and ignorant after a while. The most simple solution is that we call ourselves “Americans” and nothing else added to it. My ancestry was of German descent, so should I demand that the world call me a German-American? All this kind of stupidity is why people want to come to the good ole US of A, to be an American, so why would you want to destroy the heritage of those just because their families came here before yours? My forefathers came here in 1610 so does that mean that I have the right to tell everyone that came here after 1610 who they are and demand that there be no record of who they truly are and where they came from? I know all this sounds stupid; but, that is exactly the point I am getting at. All of this is pure stupidity. We all have a heritage and we ALL have a right to keep and honor that heritage and no one else should have the right to deny one another of their heritage. So, stop all this BS and recognize that there were bad things and good things that has happened in the establishment of this country. Look at all the native Americans that we killed to take over this land? Don’t you think that was disrespectful to kill off so many tribes that some don’t even exist any more? Is that what you want to happen here? I am a proud veteran that served the United States of America. Not the New World. And not as a German-American; but, simply as an American that was doing their patriotic duty to my country. Try to deny me of my heritage and I will tell you to go to hell. So, by now, I guess you know that my answer to this question is “NO !!”

    • C. Sokolik

      Very well said !

  • robert abbott

    There has been no petition drive to rename any of these bases. No Confederate flags are displayed on these installations. I appreciate the history lesson as to the identity of who they were named after. Some commentators are working themselves on the verge of nervous breakdowns.

    • JJMurray

      @Robert – The question is being raised not just here but elsewhere. That is how it starts. There IS a drive on already to change the helmet of the New Orleans Saints because the fleur de lis was once used by some slave trader or something. You have State governments digging up graves and moving bodies because of this movement. If you don’t think these same people (who are intimidating State and Federal politicians with their cries of racist) aren’t going to push for base names to change when they are already pushing for street names and school names to be changed then you are living with your head in the sand. Time to open you eyes and catch on to what is happening around you.

    • GMG2BB63

      They did get one thing wrong concerning Ft. Gordon. General Gordon was not the leader of the klan, that was Bedford Forrest.

      • Chuckm1a

        That was Nathan Bedford Forrest.

  • robert abbott

    It has been depicted on the television and in the movies as what happened to the Native Americans. Not exactly America’s finest hours.

  • Leon Suchorski

    I am with all of you on this subject, and they are bleeping remarks again.

  • JJMurray

    Even the military leadership and most of the soldiers who fought for the North recognized and honored their counterparts from the South. This is evident in the surrender terms Grant gave Lee and U.S. Grant can find it in himself to feel respect for the people he just defeated then who the HeII are folks today to gainsay him?
    I have FAR less respect for those who are trying to whitewash or entirely eliminate a part of our history that THEY have decided should be – what – hidden? Those people are the ones trying to impose their own views on everyone else. Those people are the ones who are acting like tyrants by trying to eliminate any vestige of the Confederacy either through intimidation or through ridiculous laws that should never even see the floor of a Legislature.

  • ronnie

    “NO” What is it with you people ???. are you going to start pandering to every thing that any body says. If that is the case then I resent beening poor. So sense I’m Poor, white and in need why don’t you give me about a million dollars a year tax free. and then I might not brother you with any more demands are requests. and I’m not ashamed to ask. are even beg. it is not a threat. just a fact. sense you all are falling all over your selves pandering to all these other requests I figured I might as well ask.

  • bbb

    No…its HISTORY! But people now a days dont care about American history. All they care about it that it hurts my feelings and they should bow down to me and cater to my needs.

    • GMG2BB63

      You are right. Now get me a cold beer. Seriously though, better to die than see the country go downhill like this.

  • Guest

    “Those who cannot learn from history are condemned to repeat it” ALWAYS applies.

    I’d like to hear how someone arrived at the conclusion that there is a consensus to rename these posts – frankly, I think it highly more likely that it is a trumped up issue with little basis in reality outside the fevered imaginations of the ultra-left. Show me the numbers… I’ll bet they are as inflated as the public’s “perceived” population of LGBT (a recent study showed that most people thought the LGBT are about 28% of our population, the actual number is a tenth of that.)

  • BillFHM3C

    These issues are continually brought to light, by special interest groups & politicos, as a way to divert attention away from the real issues that plaque this country. Don’t fall for the “buzz issue of the day”, stay focused on the real issues. Also, leave the names alone. Like it or not…they are part of American History and deserve their rightful place in our day to day lives. A remembrance of our past that should never be forgotten.

  • Ron Schlatter

    No. The Civil War is our history as painful as it was. I am offended by the Bullies that are attempting to correct the past today. If we allow them to remove the CSA flag what next the U.S. flag, change the names of Army Forts. The Generals listed in this article were heroes for their military abilities and leadership. We now have a generation that played little league baseball or soccer that never kept score. So everyone was a winner no one had to deal with loss. They now wish to change our history by pretending it never happened. We should learn from our mistakes from history. The naming of these forts was an attempt to pave the way for the United States to move forward which was going to be though with all the hard feelings that started this war.

  • Anthony Cills

    1st I want to say hello to all those who have served, are still serving and that I once served in the Army.
    I don’t feel that re-naming posts will fix anything. The problem is that we have a weak government that bows to those who cry every time something offends them. Really people…grow a back bone and suck it up. I had my basic at Ft. Jackson, my AIT at Ft. Lee and 1st Duty Station at Ft. Bragg. I feel that today’s America is a weak one and that the people are way too sensitive. Leave the military bases alone and concentrate on the real issues like looting, thug crime and shootings by those who have a weapon and shouldn’t have had one.

  • Grumpy

    This is getting out of hand. People need to understand this is history ! If they do not like it then leave the country and go somewhere else to live. I am tired of this crap in the news everyday ! It is getting old !

  • Sqwerty

    “Sound Off: Should the Pentagon Eliminate Confederate Base Names?”
    This country should eliminate the really stupid people that keep bringing this dumb subject up.

  • GMG2BB63

    Anyone notice the error about Ft. Gordon? Gordon was not the leader of the klan after the civil was. Nathanial Bedford Forrest was. Leave the names as they are. How many of these were West Point grads? PC is going way overboard.

  • GMG2BB63

    So, when can we expect military bases with names like:
    Ft. Simmons (Richard Simmons)
    Camp Fonda (Jane Fonda)
    Naval Station Walker ( CPO Walker the spy)
    Gacy AFB (John Gacy)
    And as for the Pentagon how about Stalins Station.

  • GMG2BB63

    Food for thought. What if there was a base named after a black officer who fought for the South? Would they demand that be changed also? I should think not as they would be the first ones yelling racism if that idea ever came up. Just toss it around in the mind a little.

  • USN Retired

    I have a great idea. Let’s tear down all the monuments, rename every base and every ship, let’s forget every american achievement. Make it so future generations are damned to relive the past. A nation which forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten- Calvin Coolidge

  • Armykris

    no! What is wrong with ppl giving into these requests? Stop the madness! This is ludicrous

  • Barbara W.

    Removing every record of the civil war is to not recognize the many Americans of all races who died during this conflict. While I understand that the the confederate flag serves as a reminder of a time where racism was the norm, to deny that the civil war never happened and to not recognize heroes of that era is the first step to next eradicate any other time in our history that offends our country. History is something to learn from and it is not always good. However, history is also something we have learned from as we move forward so that the mistakes of our past are not repeated. It would be a terrible disservice this those thousands of soldiers who died to just forget about their sacrifice. As a 23 year Army veteran, I hope that our services will continue to recognize those soldiers who paid the ultimate price through the naming of bases, posts, carriers etc. It’s the way our country immortalizes its heroes and I hope it never changes.

  • SGM Bob

    Hell No, don’t start renaming posts just to join the politically correct crowd. This is a DUMB idea. But then again, Dumb and Dumber are in the White House. Isn’t THAT a comforting thought!

  • billmcaninch


  • Zulucat

    Enough of this politically correct drivel. NO NO NO!!!

  • Mmckenna1544

    This is a stupid PC idea and an insult to their descendants. No,no,no!

  • Joseph acrawley

    No!!! This is being done by the LEFT to take our eyes of more important things.Leave names alone!

  • Elizbeth Johnson

    Some were in the U S Army and were still great leaders in the military sense. NO WAY to changing names.

    Will we bend and unbury the Confederate soldiers at Arlington National cemetery?

  • LTC Mason-Dixon

    Is Fort Custer, MI, national guard post, to be renamed if Native Americans are offended?

    • MAJ.D

      Well, they did beat Custer, so I don’t know that they’d take much offense. A better example might be Fort Carson, Colorado, or Fort Jackson, South Carolina, based upon their interactions with the tribes.

      At the end of the day, you could argue this about most base names. Though I think Twentynine Palms and Fort Huachuca are safe.

  • Thatdee

    Wow! Has anything ever caused so much comment? Changing history is a dangerous thing. All the lives lost on either side would mean nothing. Our gran and great grand kids can move to have any recognition of WWI and WWII wiped out then. Isn’t it great that we have nothing better to discuss? Nothin important happening today?

  • DBW86

    History is history! When these bases were named, those who approved those names probably had grandparents who actually served in the Civil War and thus were much closer to that singular event in our nation’s history. They fully understood the recognition that was being given to those individuals through the naming of these bases. ENOUGH OF THE PC CRAP! The history of both sides of the Civil War has been written in the blood and sweat of those who fought and lived through it. At the end Lincoln spread his arms wide asking for reunification of the nation, it’s former states to return with dignity and never once spoke ill of the soldiers and sailors of the South! Are we to now do different that one of our greatest president’s every wished us to do as a united nation?

  • SFC (Ret.) Jim

    No! I agree with most of the comments about not changing the name of the bases. The wave on PC can keep traveling to include removing the names of anyone involved killing Native Americans going back to Columbus’s crew. Changing the name of the bases would or should require the military to change all of the paperwork of anyone who had been assigned to those duty stations. In about ten years from now, when a retiree applies for retirement benefits could run into a young worker in the federal system whether it is on a base that issues ID cards or the VA. The worker could comment that the retiree may have changed their paperwork, as there is no such base name Fort Brigg. If this movement happens, then we’ll look again in our history to fix the wrongs in the eye of the PC accusers, let us move on the Alamo Mission in San Antonio TX. There was a battle that was lost there. The Spanish Mission system had been questioned in the past for harsh treatment of Native Americans. Remove any reference to any Spanish Missions now in the US. Also, we defeated the Spanish in a war not even twenty years before the civil war, let’s remove any city, town or state name that was given by the Spanish, like California. Let’s be stupid for a time and keep playing the PC game to the end.

  • royldixon

    A resounding “NO” to rewriting the history of the United States of America!

  • John

    Why stop now? We have activists who are more like the Taliban or Nazis than American rewriting history, destroying or removing icons, preparing to “move” buried Confederate veterans and their families, and banning displays of anything they do not like? Why not rename everything they do not like as well? After all, it IS about control and is merely an extension of what has been occurring in public schools for decades, and that has been working out just fine, from their perspective. Anyone who differs in opinion is labeled some name or another and therefore they have no validity under the political correctness that has been so pervasive in our society that it, rather than free speech, is now the guideline in our society. Rename everything, destroy history, rewrite everything, persecute anyone who disagrees, and march in lock step. There is no room for disagreement or free speech.

  • kevin erickson

    No the names should not be changed….they were military men who distinguished themselves.

    Now higher is thinking of changing these posts names. To do that would be an admission to being a racist pig.

    Please tell me our leaders have lowered themselves to be in racists.

  • LeoM

    No. It is part of our just like all the wars. I am tired of everyone trying to rewrite history. Suck it up and face the facts.

  • Happy American

    If you don’t like what is going on here JUST LEAVE!!! Go somewhere else.

  • Smiley Shark

    I had NO IDEA who those bases were named after, and I’m sure 99% of people didn’t know either. If they change base names, then ALL NAMES should be changed across the country if they are used as street names, or school names, or whatever, but don’t just pick on military bases. The point is that this is entirely UNREALISTIC. What’s next? Outlaw those last names?

  • DLB_Nam Vet 71

    No! History is what is, you can’t change what happened. Those ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it.

  • J. Kerr

    This issue has been blown totally out of proportion. It is one thing to remove the flag from government properties, which I am totally against, but to now want to change the names of military facilities is too much. This issue has now gone too far. Changing the name of military posts/bases? No, no, no HELL NO!!

  • Rickey B Scharnberg

    The poeople on both sides of the Civil War were Americans. The bases were named after American leaders. Confederate forces or Union they were all Americans. Keep the names.


    Once Obama is evicted from the white house, we have an opportunity to undo all of this crap!

  • C. H. Cox III

    First of all, it is my understanding that the flag that is the subject of all this complaining is NOT the “national” colors of the Confederate States of America, but rather that is was originally the battle standard of the Army of the Tennessee. That having been said, there is no denying that it has acquired a broader symbolism to both sides of the controversy. What troubles me [as a person with an undergraduate degree in American History] is the Orwellian effect, whether intended or not. If we treat historic “fact” as totally malleable, if we erase the portions of our past we don’t agree with, we will lose our identity in the present. This idea leads straight to the concept of the “MiniTrue” — the “Ministry of Truth” in the novel “1984.”

  • jhi

    When you hear the name of these bases, the first thing that comes to mind is which “HOME OF” is it. Is it home of the Airborne, home of the Infantry, how about aviation, armor, and transportation. One of the last things you think of is the civil war general for whom the base is named. And why is that? The answer is simple….these bases have a history of their own that cannot and should not ever be denied. These bases were “homes” where soldiers learned the skills to survive, adapt and overcome our nations enemies. To rename them would be a travesty!

  • bbabbitt

    I find Political Correctness offensive ergo, PC should be removed in the interest of being politically correct.

  • cddawgs

    Just freaking STOP!!! This serves no purpose but to further divide an already very fragile existence.

  • retsam369

    I can’t believe that you find it necessary to post this type of crap. Of course the answer is NO. In fact I think that the people that want to change everything should “make a change of the country” they live in. Move on to the country of their choice and name it anything they want, on as regular a basis as they want! Maybe, just maybe that will make them happy? But some how I seriously doubt it!

  • jim smith

    Norman Walters could not say it any clearer. We are all Americans not preceded with a country that we may have come from. Blacks should drop Africa American and be just be a American. I came from France but I do not say I am a French American.

  • Grunge1980

    What about all the stuff with the name Pershing? Such an anti Islamic guy he was. Is there nothing that does not offend these days? If there is a substantive issue, I fall on the favor of removing inflammatory names and symbols. Nothing good comes from continuing harms but they must be real harms.

  • John III

    We can not and should not try to erase or rewrite our history. I believe the bases, statues and the confederate flag should stay, They are all a part of our history whether we like it or not. Lest we not forget.

  • Ricky L. Sykes CWO3 USN ret

    He’ll No! Where would it stop? Both the communist and the Nazi’s tried to wipe out history so they xcould control the masses.

  • Rob

    NO! People need to get over it. The majority needs to tell the PC’ers to F-OFF

  • Rob

    It’s unfortunate, our founding fathers tried to prevent what America is becoming…..

  • D.E. Patterson

    Hell no. Leave them as they are. Next thing you know it will be a crime to name a child Robert or Lee. What happens then, do we imprison the parents or ” send the child back”? Ridiculous idea isn’t it. But that kind of thinking is exactly what’s happening.

  • droggen

    A stupid question ! hell no !

  • catahoulagill

    If every “offensive” name is omitted from the United States of America, by the time it’s all said and done, we should be called the United Bunch of A-holes because that’s all we would be.

    People don’t have to be offended by anything. Being offended is a choice a person makes by deciding something offends them.

  • indysteve1949

    give it a rest, hell no!!