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Fort Bragg changes road name mistaken for Confederate general

82nd Airborne Paratroopers rub running down Longstreet Road during the All American Week 100 Division Run, May 22, 2017, Fort Bragg, NC. (U.S. Army photo by: Sgt Caitlyn Byrne)
January 19, 2022

Fort Bragg announced earlier this month that it will rename one of the main roads on the military installation after it was mistakenly changed and associated with a Confederate general.

The Fayetteville Observer reported Longstreet Road will be restored to its original name, Long Street, thereby distancing from any affiliation to Confederate Lt. Gen. James Longstreet.

A Fort Bragg press release stated the name had previously been condensed and incidentally affiliated with the confederate leader. According to a 2008 National Register of Historic Places evaluation of the area, the street name was likely condensed to Longstreet due to U.S. Geological Survey map simplification efforts initiated after 1918.

The name Long Street reportedly predates Fort Bragg itself. As far back as the Revolutionary War era, locals referred to what was then a section of Yadkin Road as “the long street” and the name eventually evolved into Long Street. According to the Fayetteville Area Convention and Visitors Bureau website, the Long Street Presbyterian Church and Cemetery were established in the mid-1700s, decades before the birth of James Longstreet in South Carolina.  

Fort Bragg’s garrison commander Col. Scott Pence said Longstreet Road is the first of eight streets that will be renamed this year.

In a Sept. 14 meeting, Fort Bragg curator and archeologist Linda Carnes-McNaughton told the city of Fayetteville, North Carolina that more than 480 street names on the military installation were evaluated for potential renaming. In addition to Longstreet, Carnes-McNaughton told the city the other seven streets identified for name changes are Alexander, Armistead, Donelson, Jackson, Mosby, Pelham and Reilly.

The 2021 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) included a provision for renaming any U.S military property that commemorates the Confederacy or individuals affiliated with the Confederate States of America. Then-President Donald Trump opposed various portions of the 2021 NDAA, including the provision to rename military installations and property. The NDAA passed in both the House and the Senate with veto-proof majorities, and while Trump did veto the defense omnibus bill, Congress overrode his veto.

Fort Bragg itself is one of at least 10 U.S. Army bases bearing the name of a confederate leader. Fort Bragg, originally Camp Bragg, was named after Gen. Braxton Bragg, a North Carolina native who served in the Mexican-American War prior to fighting for the Confederacy during the Civil War.

The base has since grown into the largest U.S. military installation and one of the largest military bases in the world. Fort Bragg accommodates about 57,000 military personnel, 11,000 civilian employees and 23,000 family members and is known as “the Home of the Airborne and Special Operations.”