“It is time to remove the names of traitors like Benning and Bragg from our country’s most important military installations. — General David Petraeus

Drawing: Quint Lox

Fort Hood in Texas is named for John Bell Hood, graduate of the U.S. Military Academy and veteran of the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy. It is an insult that the base is named for Hood. Anyone who thinks the name should stay should explain. I doubt they can convince anyone new of their convictions. Hood is undeserving of any honor of this nature. Maybe, the U.S. should name Pearl Harbor after one of the Japanese generals responsible for attacking that U.S. Naval base. It makes about that much sense.

Hood served in the Confederate Army. He was a General by the time of Sherman’s famous “March” to the Sea through Georgia. He famously wrote to Sherman as Sherman torched the South and made it howl and made clear his racist hate. Here is what Hood wrote to Sherman:

“You came into our country with your Army, avowedly for the purpose of subjugating free white men, women, and children, and not only intend to rule over them, but you make negroes your allies, and desire to place over us an inferior race, which we have raised from barbarism to its present position, which is the highest ever attained by that race, in any country in all time.”

That is one of the most racist statements I have ever read. Hood, in fact, is so committed to the cause of white supremacy that when Kentucky balks at entering the war and seceding, he adopts the state of Texas so he can join the destructive, racist cause. He eventually leads the Texas Brigade in the later part of war (he fought in the war from the start). He commands Confederate troops in multiple clashes during the war. This confirms one single truth about Hood: he was part of the army and secessionist entity that attacked the United States. He sought to overthrow the government. He wasn’t some underling either; he was in the leadership. He resigned from the U.S. Army right after the attack on Fort Sumter. There is no excuse for this and there is no way possible his name should have ever been placed on the name of a U.S. military installation.

If anyone is wondering, the Texas Monthly wrote about Fort Hood and other similarily situated forts last year. Here is an excerpt that provides the background of how the U.S. even has forts named for Confederate war criminals:

This is a relevant point. The Lost Cause movement has been discredited long ago and is still being dismantled each day. The damage is done though. It was a campaign of misinformation and lies that has resulted in the implanting of a false narrative of U.S. history. The Lost Cause concept is a lie. There was nothing noble about the cause of the South and the war was not fought to preseve the “southern way of life” or to preserve “southern heritage.” The war was fought to continue to enslave the African people in bondage in the South as chattel slaves. It was an evil cause. You don’t have to believe me when you read that. Read what the secessionist states stated themselves:

“The People of the slaveholding states are bound together by the same necessity and determination to preserve African slavery.” (Louisiana)

South Carolina stated emphatically that it seceded from the United States and attacked the U.S. at Fort Sumter because of the election of a man to the high office of the United States whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery. The man they are referencing is Lincoln and the institution of slavery they were hoping to preserve enslaved Africans.

Texas was even more straightforward about the purpose of their secession move:

But again, forget about ideology. Lets meet on common ground. Lincoln believed in white supremacy as well. So did many other U.S. Presidents. Even General William Sherman, the man who dealt the South the decisive blow, and brought along African-American troops to scorch the South, was a white supremacist.

The point here is there is no logical justification for a military base to be named for someone who is basically a traitor to the nation. A person who is no different from a rebel force who attacked the U.S. government itself. The U.S. would never name anything for these individuals. Just be clear. How about the following individuals; why don’t they have military bases name for them? —

Pancho Villa — attacked the city of Columbus, New Mexico, in March 1916

John Brown — led a raid of the U.S. artillery barracks at Harper’s Ferry, Va., on October 16, 1859.

I am not a military veteran or anything. I am not much of a militarist either. However, the U.S. should stand on some kind of principle here. Does it want to smash white supremacy? Or does it want to continue to perpetuate a morally bankrupt ideology? Renaming the forts is one way to get on with it. Start with Fort Hood.

To close, what happened to Hood after he tried to overthrow the government? He moved to Louisiana, got involved in business, and the insurance industry. He died of yellow fever in August 1879. He did not die in prison, a war criminal.

Numbers runner. Cigar smoker.

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