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Virginia has 3 Army bases named for Confederate officers, more than any other state

In both the U.S. Senate and the House, there are bipartisan efforts to rename installations named for Confederate rebels. President Trump is threatening a veto.

WASHINGTON — The move to rename Army bases that honor Confederate officers continues to pick up momentum in Congress, despite threats from President Donald Trump. 

In Twitter messages Trump wrote, "It has been suggested that we should rename as many as 10 of our Legendary Military Bases." 

Trump then made it clear he would put up opposition to the military's possible plan and said, "Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with. Respect our Military!"

Three of the country's 10 military installations named for Confederate officers are in Virginia, which is more than any other state has. 

Here is a look at the bases and the men they're named for.

FORT PICKETT:

Credit: Library of Congress


General George Pickett, best known for the disastrous charge at Gettysburg that went down in history as the high watermark of the Confederacy, had a Southern Virginia National Guard base named for him exactly 79 years to the day and hour after his troops were slaughtered.

To this day, Black men and women train at Fort Pickett, named for a man who fought to keep some of their ancestors enslaved.

FORT A.P. HILL

Credit: Library of Congress

Fort A.P. Hill is a sprawling 76,000-acre live-fire training complex about halfway between D.C. and Richmond.

General Ambrose Powell Hill was from Virginia, and historians say he was one of Robert E. Lee's most trusted lieutenants, but he sat out much of the final year of the war because of illness, and was killed by a Union soldier at the third Battle of Petersburg.

FORT LEE

Credit: AP
The Moon illuminates the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee on Monument Avenue Friday June 5, 2020, in Richmond, Va. Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has ordered the removal of the statue. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)


Fort Lee is an Army base 25 miles south of Richmond named for the most famous -- or infamous -- Confederate general.

Robert E. Lee has been called a brilliant tactician who abhorred slavery and fought for the south because of his love for Virginia. But in a letter to his wife, he wrote of enslaved people: "The painful discipline they are undergoing is necessary for their instruction as a race."

Rep. Anthony Brown, (D-Maryland), a retired Army Reserve Colonel, introduced a bipartisan bill on Monday to change all the names. 

"It was a rebellion," he said. "They were traitors. They weren't supporting the Constitution. They were subverting and undermining it." 

Rep. Brown said he trained and deployed to war zones from several bases named for Confederates. He said it was demoralizing, and he said it's demoralizing to many young recruits at a time when the military needs more of them.

The President warned in a tweet: "Those that deny their history are doomed to repeat it."

His critics say we should celebrate the people freed by the Union, not the Confederates who enslaved them.

RELATED: Confederate monument debate regains momentum in Maryland and Congress

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