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THREAD. There is renewed attention to the fact that there are U.S. Army posts named for nine Confederate generals and one Confederate Colonel. These include three of the nation’s most important military installations (Forts Benning, Bragg and Hood).
An ad hoc working group of Twitter friends researched and tabulated Union casualties in the Civil War battles in which these 10 enemy officers participated. That research is summarized at…, which includes a link to a separate battle-by-battle spreadsheet.
We found that these 10 Confederate officers played leading roles in engagements resulting in the death, wounding or other disablement (missing/captured) of a total of 372,207 Union soldiers, 45% of the total number of Union casualties for the entire war (828,000).
The 10 officers were directly implicated in the battlefield deaths of at least 40,000 Union soldiers.
Our working group’s purpose was not to relitigate the Civil War. It was to ask, in the light of our history since then, questions that are of current rather than historical relevance:
1.Whatever the real politik may have been in the early 20th Century, when most of these Forts were opened, can we any longer justify naming U.S. Army posts after sworn enemies of the United States who, directly and personally, waged war on that same Army ?
2.Is it fitting that the Nation for which these 372,207 soldiers bled and died should honor the very rebel officers who killed and maimed them ? Do we honor the service and sacrifice of all Union soldiers by doing so ?
3.Can we, in the midst of the Black Lives Matter movement and all it means for our hopes for a more just society, continue to honor men who took up arms to defend slavery ? Men whose new country’s founding documents explicitly avowed that black lives did NOT matter ?
4.Is it right to require black service members to serve on posts named for men who fought for the subjugation of black people ? Does that send a message to black service members that is conducive to unit cohesion and military effectiveness ?
5.By the same token, do the names of these Army forts give tacit approval and encouragement to a minority of white supremacists in the Army (a silent ‘dog whistle’ for those that would hear it) ? Is that conducive to unit cohesion and military effectiveness ?
6.Does bestowing on U.S. Army installations the names of actual (legally defined) traitors implicitly affirm that, in the post-Charlottesville words of Pres. Trump, there were “very fine people on both sides” of the Civil War ?
Does that involve us all in denying that slavery was wrong, and that those who led the fight for it committed the gravest human rights offense in our history ?
Pres. Trump opposes re-naming these Army posts. If he is not re-elected, the next administration should view the re-naming of the Forts as an opportunity to demonstrate a renewed commitment to civil and human rights in our country.
The re-naming of these Forts may seem, to some, a relatively trivial issue, with so many pressing matters to be addressed in the aftermath of the current administration, but it has great symbolic and moral significance.

Addendum to the thread above regarding the Confederate Generals for whom Army posts are named. The 'unrolled' thread below addresses the post-Civil War, civilian lives of the same Generals, which were as disreputable as their war records.
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