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10 military posts are named for these Confederate commanders

By Phil Gast

Published June 11, 2020

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Here's a look at the 10 Southern officers -- all but one a general -- who fought to preserve slavery and the posts that carry their names.

The Civil War -- which cost more than 600,000 lives -- led to the abolition of slavery but did not eliminate the systemic racism that persists in the country today.

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Camp Beauregard, Louisiana

Gen. Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard (1818-1893) led Southern victories at Fort Sumter and Bull Run then fell out of favor as the conflict dragged on. According to historian T. Harry Williams, Beauregard believed African Americans were "naturally inferior."

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Fort Benning, Georgia

Brig. Gen. Henry Benning (1814-1875) strongly defended slavery and was a leader in the South's secession movement.

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Fort A.P. Hill, Virginia

Lt. Gen. Ambrose Powell (A.P.) Hill (1825-1865) never owned slaves and did not approve of the institution, according to his wife, but he embraced secession -- feeling allegiance to his native state of Virginia -- and joined the Confederate army.

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Fort Bragg, North Carolina

Between the Mexican War and Civil War, Gen. Braxton Bragg (1817-1876) "lived the life of a genteel planter on a sugar cane plantation in Louisiana where slaves put in back-breaking labor in unspeakable conditions to bring molasses to market and earn Bragg a profit," Michael Newcity, a visiting professor at Duke University, wrote.

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Fort Gordon, Georgia

Maj. Gen. John Brown Gordon (1832-1904) fought against Reconstruction after the war and was believed to be the head of the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia, according to the New Georgia Encyclopedia. Gordon denied that role but acknowledged being part of a "secret society." He served as a US senator and governor.

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Fort Hood, Texas

Lt. Gen. John Bell Hood (1831-1879) left the US Army when Kentucky refused to secede and joined Confederate forces in Texas. As a military commander, he had success leading troops at the division level, but his aggressive nature led to increased failures on the battlefield.

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Fort Lee, Virginia

Gen. Robert E. Lee (1807-1870) "was the most successful Confederate military leader during the American Civil War (1861-1865). This also made him, by virtue of the Confederacy's defense of chattel slavery, the most successful defender of the enslavement of African Americans," according to the Encyclopedia Virginia.

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Fort Pickett, Virginia

Maj. Gen. George E. Pickett (1825-1875) joined the Confederate army and fought in several campaigns. He is best remembered for the doomed Pickett's Charge at Gettysburg.

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Fort Polk, Louisiana

An Episcopal bishop before the war, Lt. Gen. Leonidas Polk (1806-1864) joined the Confederate army and was killed during fighting outside Atlanta. He owned hundreds of slaves and was said to be in full sympathy with the secessionist cause.

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Fort Rucker, Alabama

Col. Edmund W. Rucker (1835-1924) fought for the Confederate army under Nathan Bedford Forrest, a slave trader and early Ku Klux Klan leader. Rucker later became an industrial leader in Birmingham.

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