Thu, January 9, 2020

Named for the Enemy

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Every day, hundreds of thousands of U.S. Army Soldiers and civilians live and work at installations named to honor Confederate soldiers. Three of the Army's largest and most prestigious posts – Forts Benning, Bragg, and Hood, honor soldiers who rebelled against the United States to create a new nation. On January 9, 2020, at 6:30 PM, the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center (USAHEC) in Carlisle, Pennsylvania will host the inaugural "Military History Lecture and Discussion Series on Provocative Topics" talk by featuring retired Brigadier General Ty Seidule of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. BG Seidule will talk about the history behind the current debate over the memorialization of the Confederacy in the American armed forces.

The U.S. Army has ten posts named for military officers who fought for the Confederate States against the United States. The War Department named the ten posts during World War I and World War II when segregation was present throughout the Army and the nation. Many have questioned why these posts continue to hold the names of former adversaries. The Army provided an official response in 2015 but the debate still carries on over what is considered appropriate memorialization. Because no Navy, Air Force, or Marine base honors a Confederate officer, the Army faces the installation naming problem alone.

Brigadier General (Retired) Ty Seidule is Professor Emeritus of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He is the co-editor of the West Point History of Warfare series published by Simon and Schuster, which won three Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Prizes. His book Robert E. Lee and Me will be published in 2020 by St. Martin's Press.

The "USAHEC Military History Lecture and Discussion Series on Provocative Topics," provides an educational forum for our audience to examine provocative topics in the interest of academic growth and promoting communication. This series is designed to serve as an important step in evaluating differing perspectives, while encouraging open, professional dialogue on potentially opposing opinions. Our goal is to expand our audience's knowledge and thought process on topics that have challenged military thinkers. Lectures and topics do not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of the USAHEC, the U.S. Army War College, or the U.S. Army.