And no, not in a good or positive way. Take Republicans who voted to rename military bases which are currently named for Confederate generals. What do they hope to gain? Most folks likely oppose such moves, and I would bet an even higher percentage of Republicans oppose such historical cleansing. Yet several Republicans supported the change, which was pushed by Liz Warren, who is about as left wing as they come. In fact her amendment goes much further than just renaming bases. Republicans ought to know better, as Max McGuire at The Federalist writes
It would require the federal government to “remove all names, symbols, displays, monuments, and paraphernalia that honor or commemorate the Confederate States of America … or any person who served voluntarily with the Confederate States of America from all assets of the Department of Defense.”
It is true that the namesakes of iconic military bases including Fort Hood, Fort Benning, and Fort Bragg fought on the Confederate side of the Civil War. While it is undoubtedly easier to brand these men as racist Confederates and call it a day, that fails to tell the story of why these bases bear their names. Human beings are complicated and complex, and therefore so is their history. Hindsight reveals that good people sometimes end up on the wrong side of conflict.
As an example: Fort Hood is named after John Bell Hood. A graduate of West Point, Hood served in the U.S. Army on the frontier and was shot by an arrow during one of his patrols. Had the Purple Heart been awarded back then, Hood would have received it. Yes, Hood eventually resigned his commission and joined the Confederate Army after secession, and held personal and political beliefs that are repugnant today.
I will ignore the “repugnant” views part, I will do some more in depth study of General Hood, as I have mainly studied his service, as commander of The famed Texas Brigade, and later as a division commander under Lee, and as a Corps commander under Gen. Joe Johnston, and eventually as commander of the Army of Tennessee.
But that is not why Fort Hood exists. The military base in Killeen, Texas, bears Hood’s name because, by all definitions, Hood was one of the bravest and most tenacious men in American military history. At the Battle of Gettysburg, Gen. Hood led his men in a charge against the Union troops holding Little Round Top. During the advance, Hood was hit by an exploding artillery shell that crippled his left arm and rendered it immobile, dangling at his side.
Hood’s contemporaries encouraged him to resign his commission and explained there would be no disgrace in retiring given his injuries. Hood, however, had other plans. Once he was healed, he demanded a reinstatement and regrouped with his men at the Battle of Chickamauga.
On the third day of the battle, Hood was once again wounded. A bullet shattered his femur, forcing doctors to amputate the leg just four inches below the hip. They had so little confidence Hood would survive, the doctors discharged him with his amputated leg so it could be buried with him.
Hood survived and recovered. Again, he was pressured to resign his commission, but again, he pressed on. Not only did he demand to be reinstated, but he convinced Jefferson Davis to give him a promotion.
This man lost an arm at Gettysburg and a leg at Chickamauga. For the final year of the war, the Texas Brigade was led by a one-armed, one-legged general who had to be physically strapped to his horse so he wouldn’t fall off. That is why the Army chose in 1942 to name its new base after Hood. It wasn’t to glorify the Confederacy or to glorify the institution of slavery.
So, he was a brave an gallant soldier, tough as hell frankly, but he must be erased! That is a repugnant, and deeply delusional view of history, but we expect such knuckle dragging nonsense from Democrats. But from Republicans? Sickening