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A Renaming Commission Sure Found Some Questionable Things At West Point

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A commission appointed to review the names of landmarks and memorials at West Point and the U.S. Naval Academy found a handful of Confederate dedications that must be removed, relocated or renamed, in line with a report submitted to Congress on Monday.

That features quite a few references to the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. At West Point, in Latest York’s Orange County, Lee’s name is affixed to 5 assets, including a preschool.

“Lee’s armies were accountable for the deaths of more United States soldiers than practically another enemy in our nation’s history,” the report notes.

The names of lesser-known Confederate officers adorn other buildings that were also identified for renaming. That features Beauregard Place, named for Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard, and Hardee Place, named for Gen. William J. Hardee.

The report identifies Beauregard with particular disdain, noting that he had “long been an ardent supporter of enslavement, secession and insurrection.” And while Beauregard did function superintendent at West Point, partially explaining his commemoration at the college, he only held the job for five days, after which he was fired, joined the Confederacy, and thought of fleeing overseas within the wake of the Civil War.

Satirically, one of the vital egregious examples identified by the commission falls outside its purview. A marker mounted outside Bartlett Hall at West Point bears the words “Ku Klux Klan” below a relief of a hooded figure carrying a rifle.

A naming commission took issue with various Confederacy-affiliated assets at West Point. At left, a marker at West Point bears the words “Ku Klux Klan” below a relief of a hooded figure carrying a rifle.

“The marker falls outside the remit of the commission,” the report notes. “Nonetheless, there are clearly ties within the KKK to the Confederacy.”

The commission encouraged the U.S. secretary of defense ― currently, retired Gen. Lloyd Austin ― to remove the marker, and to standardize rules that might remove any similar references that exist elsewhere.

On the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, the commission identified three assets for renaming.

Each a road and a residence bearing the name of Franklin Buchanan, a Confederate admiral whose efforts “killed tons of of U.S. Navy sailors,” were really useful to be rededicated.

Maury Hall, named after Matthew Maury, can be on the list. Maury rose to prominence as an oceanographer, then fell from grace within the Civil War while advocating for what the report describes as “a series of vast American territories … where enslaved humans would produce commodity crops.”

After the Civil War resulted in 1865, attempts to ascertain Confederate monuments at West Point and Annapolis were “consistently met with solid resistance” for greater than 60 years, the authors write. That modified with the “Lost Cause” movement within the Thirties that sought to recast and romanticize a distorted history of Southern defeat.

“The commissioners don’t make these recommendations with any intention of ‘erasing history,’” the panel wrote within the report. “The facts of the past remain and the commissioners are confident the history of the Civil War will proceed to be taught in any respect service academies with all the standard and sophisticated detail our national past deserves.”

“Reasonably, they make these recommendations to affirm West Point’s long tradition of training future generations of America’s military leaders to represent the most effective of our national ideals,” the report says. “Cadets of the current who devote their lives to national service should accomplish that in an environment and setting that honors the best examples, traditions, and leaders of our past.”

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