- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It should be noted emphatically that Forts Lee, Pickett, A.P. Hill, Bragg, Pope, Benning, Rucker, Polk, and Hood were not named in the spirit of reconciliation.
Rather, they were named to assuage the South, whose leaders were most certainly not reconciled to their loss in the Civil War, and in fact spent many decades engaging in a variety of forms of repression of Southern blacks. Black citizens were disenfranchised in the late 19th and early 20th century by a variety of means, ranging from discriminatory poll laws to flat-out terrorist violence, such as lynchings. Indeed, Southern white members of the U.S. Senate blocked an anti-lynching law in 1922.
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