I’ve been following the very heated discussions in print and broadcast news, concerning renaming schools, parks, statues and now even old-time U.S. Army posts, which bear the names of Confederate war figures. I dare not call them heroes, as I don’t wish to have a mob of irate citizens at my apartment door, with torches and pitchforks, clamoring for my blood. With such things as schools and monuments, I leave that to local councils, but I do have a severe pang when I hear talk of renaming such great old posts as Fort Bragg, N. C., Fort Hood, Tex., Fort Gordon, Ga., and in Virginia, Fort A. P. Hill, Fort Pickett and even Fort Lee. So I propose a radical change, in accordance with what appears to be a popular sentiment to rid the nation of any vestige of its history, especially should it contain even a whiff of magnolia blossoms.
Let the post now called Fort Hood be renamed Fort Schofield, in honor of the Union general who whipped him so badly at the Battle of Franklin, December 1864. And Fort Bragg should lose its title, being renamed Fort Thomas, to honor Major General George H. Thomas, a Virginian, whose Army of the Cumberland roared up Missionary Ridge near Chattanooga, and sent Bragg’s forces fleeing for their lives. As to Fort Lee — well, we remember who surrendered to whom, at Appomattox, don’t we? Sure do, it was U. S. “Unconditional Surrender” Grant, so rename it for him. He was a West Pointer, too. There are others which Civil War buffs (that’s the proper title, not “War of Northern Aggression”) may readily bring up. Like Fort Chamberlain, for Colonel (brevet Major General) Joshua L. Chamberlain, whose iron-spined Maine regiment stopped Hood’s attack cold, on Little Round Top. That great loser, George Pickett, doesn’t even deserve a mention, he was picnicking in the rear, while Sheridan’s corps ate him up at Five Forks.