25 May 2013

Memorial Day & Confederate Loathing

Robert Krick was so right. The latest example comes from a contributor at the New York Times who wants to rename all the U.S. military bases named after Confederate officers.

In the end, I suspect this is much more about the writer wanting to get out in front on the next cause célèbre and get noticed than it is anything else. What a way to celebrate Memorial Day.

Of course, using the writer's logic, we'll need to change the name of things named after President Lincoln, since he was guilty of many racist attitudes and comments. And let's not forget things named after the various military leaders who slaughtered American Indians - they will need to purge those as well. And, of course, everything named after FDR needs to be looked at since he interned American citizens because of their race and nationality. And I recently read that JFK apparently had a man-crush on Adolf Hitler, so anything named after ol' Jack has gotta go as well.

And then there's the issue with all those buildings and monuments all over America named after the Founding Fathers - many who were slaveholders. Ready the sandblasters. 

But it's really not about that. It's really politics and about loathing the Confederacy which, as David Blight has written explains the real motivation behind much of this:

the Confederacy is to this day the greatest conservative resistance to federal authority in American history

Happy Memorial Day - unless, of course, you're a Southerner with Confederate ancestors.


Michael Confoy said...

Given the quality of general he was, Ft. A.P. Hill should be renamed on that alone. Hell, Early and Ewell were better generals than he was.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Michael - that's one man's opinion. Here's what the Civil War Trust has to say about Hill:

"On February 26, 1863, Hill received a promotion to brigadier general. Following the promotion, Hill served gallantly at the Battle of Williamsburg and during the Peninsula Campaign. As a result of his leadership, Hill was promoted to major general on May 26, 1862. Hill commanded well during the Seven Days Battles, becoming a very important component to General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s army. Hill fought well at the Battle of Cedar Mountain, the Second Battle of Bull Run, served a crucial role at the Battle of Antietam, and fought well at the Battle of Fredericksburg. At the Battle of Chancellorsville, Hill took over for General Jackson after he was mortally wounded, but was later wounded himself. After the battle, Hill received the rank of lieutenant general on May 24, 1863, and became commander of the 3rd corps in General Robert E. Lee’s army. Hill commanded the corps during the Battle of Gettysburg, where he received criticism for some of his command decisions. During the Battle of Gerrysburg, Hill's decisions and actions on the first day of the battle led to engaging the Union army before the entire Confederate army had arrived. After Gettysburg, Hill went on to serve during the Wilderness Campaign, as well at the Siege of Petersburg. On April 2, 1865, while riding along the defensive lines at Petersburg, Hill was shot and killed by a Federal soldier. Although he received criticism for some of his command decision after his promotion to lieutenant general, General Robert E. Lee still considered A.P. Hill to be one of the Confederate armies’ finest commanders."

Thanks for commenting.

Michael Confoy said...

Well he was given to Jackson because he could not work for Longstreet and Jackson never had a high opinion of him and just finished reading "Return to Bull Run" and I am really can't find anything he did there besides be there.

But even worse is Fort Bragg is named after Braxton Bragg. If Jefferson Davis had a clue, Bragg would have been shot. Fort Hood after John Bell Hood? A good division and corps commander. Is there a Fort Cleburne anywhere?

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks for the comment Michael. Nathan Bedford Forrest would agree with you on Bragg.