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Congress Cmte: ‘Remove Confederate names from Army, Navy academies’

The U.S. Military Academy at West Point. (DoD photo by Staff Sgt. Sean K. Harp)
September 06, 2022

A Congressional commission said last week that the names of men affiliated with the Confederate States of America should be removed from West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy.

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The Naming Commission released its latest report last Monday calling for the renaming, removal, or modification of several Confederate names which are memorialized on a “variety of assets” across the two campuses, including a barracks, housing area, academic building, road, gate, portrait, plaza, triptych, and monument. 

The assets commemorate, portray, or depict Confederate Generals P. G. T. Beauregard, William J. Hardee, and Robert E. Lee; Lieutenant Generals Stonewall Jackson and Joseph Wheeler; Major Generals J.E.B. Stuart and Fitzhugh Lee; Commander John M. Brooke; director of the Naval Observatory Matthew Fontaine Maury and Admiral Franklin Buchanan. 

“The Commissioners do not make these recommendations with any intention of ‘erasing history.’ The facts of the past remain and the Commissioners are confident the history of the Civil War will continue to be taught at all Service academies with all the quality and complex detail our national past deserves,” the report states. 

The commission estimates that the changes will cost West Point $424,000 and the Naval Academy $27,000

In August, the Naming Commission recommended the Department of Defense rename nine military bases, including Fort Hood, Texas; Fort Bragg, North Carolina; Fort Rucker, Alabama; Fort Polk, Louisiana; Fort Benning and Fort Gordon in Georgia; and Fort A.P. Hill, Fort Lee and Fort Pickett in Virginia.

 The changes to those military bases will cost an estimated $21 million. 

The commissioners again insisted that making the changes is not a form of “erasing history.” 

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley testified before the House Armed Services Committee in July 2020, during which he denounced the Confederacy as treasonous, and backed consideration for renaming Confederate-named military bases.

“The Confederacy, the American Civil War, was fought, and it was an act of rebellion,” Milley told the committee at the time. “It was an act of treason, at the time, against the Union, against the Stars and Stripes, against the U.S. Constitution. Those officers turned their back on their oath.”