Army refuses to remove names of Confederate generals from Brooklyn base

general lee Army refuses to remove names of Confederate generals from Brooklyn base

General Lee Avenue at Fort Hamilton, New York City’s only active-duty military base, on March 27, 2009 (PChris Hondros/Getty Images)

By Matt Saintsing

The U.S. Army has denied demands from members of Congress to change two streets that carry the names of Confederate generals at a base in New York City.

General Lee Avenue and Stonewall Jackson Drive will remain at Fort Hamilton in Brooklyn according to a letter sent to distraught members of Congress July 20.

“After over a century, any effort to rename memorializations on Fort Hamilton would be controversial and divisive,” wrote Diane Randon, who is performing the duties of the Assistant Secretary of the Army for manpower and reserve affairs.

“Streets on our military installations are often named for a Soldier who holds a place of significance in our military history. The great generals of the Civil War, Union, and Confederate, are an inextricable part of our military history.”

In June, a group of Democratic lawmakers requested the Army to rename two streets on Fort Hamilton, in Brooklyn, named after Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson.

“I am disappointed that the Department of the Army will not even consider renaming these streets honoring Confederate generals who wage war against the United States,” Rep. Yvette Clarke, (D-NY) said in a statement.

Clarke, who was one of the four lawmakers requesting the changes from the Army, described the decision as “nonsense.”

“These monuments are deeply offensive to the hundreds of thousands of Brooklyn residents and members of the armed forces stationed at Fort Hamilton whose ancestors Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson fought to hold in slavery,” said Clarke.

Robert E. Lee was the principal general leading the Confederate Army through the most violent part of the Civil War. Stonewall Jackson served as Lee’s No. 2 general until his death at the Battle of Chancellorsville.

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