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A California city named for a Confederate general considers changing its name

City of Fort Bragg (Ellin Beltz/WikiCommons)

As national protests over the deaths of Black men in police custody continue, a California city named after a Confederate general may ask voters if the city should change its name.

Fort Bragg, located in Mendocino County on the Northern California coast, will consider the question at an upcoming City Council meeting, a post to the city’s Facebook page says.

 

“Responding to many requests (some local and many not) that the City of Fort Bragg, California change its name to avoid any connotation associated with Confederate Army General Braxton Bragg, Fort Bragg Mayor Will Lee would like to announce that at the June 22, 2020 Regular City Council meeting, the City Council will discuss whether to place the question of changing the City’s name on the ballot in November for City residents to decide,” the post reads.

Fort Bragg, which has a population of 7,300 according to the U.S. Census Bureau, began before the Civil War as a U.S. Army fort named for its commander, Gen. Braxton Bragg, according to a history on Mendocino Fun.

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The fort was eventually evacuated and Bragg later left the Army to fight for the Confederacy in the Civil War, according to the site. The area became a logging town in the 1880s.

Bragg went on to serve as the commander of the Army of Tennessee in the war, but was sacked after losing a battle at Chattanooga to Union General Ulysses S. Grant, a History.com biography reports. He died in 1876 after working as a civil engineer in Alabama and Texas.

National protests erupted after video emerged of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck as he begged for air during his May 25 arrest on suspicion of fraud.

Floyd, a Black man, later died. Officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, and three other officers have been fired and charged in his death.

Some of the protests, which have spread from Minneapolis across the nation, have been blamed for clashes with police, fires and other unrest.

The violence and thefts involve much smaller groups at mostly peaceful gatherings, authorities say. The vast majority of the protesters across the nation have been “peaceful demonstrators calling for change,” law enforcement officials told ABC News.

Symbols of the Confederacy have become a particular target of the protesters.

Protesters have toppled several Confederate statues, while others have been removed for safekeeping by local officials. NASCAR has banned the Confederate flag and other paraphernalia from events, as have some branches of the military.

The U.S. military also is considering changing the names of 10 bases named for Confederate generals, including Fort Bragg in North Carolina, also named for Braxton Bragg, McClatchy News previously reported.

President Donald Trump has opposed the idea, but a U.S. Senate panel has endorsed changing the names.

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© 2020 The Sacramento Bee