The following is a press release issued by the citizen group Change Our Name- Fort Bragg. Please, remember that press releases do not necessarily represent the perspective of MendoFever.
Local residents of Fort Bragg have created and launched a new website “Change Our Name Fort Bragg” soliciting support to change the name, of our city, dropping both components, the title Fort and the name of Braxton Bragg.
In June 2020 the Fort Bragg City Council created an Ad Hoc “Name Change Commission” which has now been meeting privately ever since.
A report back to the City Council is awaited but what, if anything, this Commission, made up of residents of often opposing opinions, can agree on is unknown.
The idea of changing the city’s name has arisen repeatedly since the Civil War, beginning with Lieutenant Colonel R.C. Drum, commanding the Humboldt Military District in October 1862, who wrote to his superiors in Washington, D.C. suggesting the post “had long enough borne the name of a traitor,” referring to General Braxton Bragg then commanding Confederate forces against our country.
In 2015 the California Legislative Black Caucus wrote to the City Council noting: “Braxton Bragg served as military advisor to the president of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis, and as a general in the Confederate army who led many bloody battles against the Union ….He personally owned 105 slaves as he fought to preserve slavery. This is not the legacy that your city or any city should be associated with.”
The issue arose again in 2020 in conjunction with the racial reckoning occurring across the country which has led to a reexamination of history and the removal of statues, plaques, and place names celebrating the Confederacy as a defender of slavery. The Department of Defense is currently renaming ten army installations which bear the names of Confederate generals. Fort Bragg, North Carolina will be renamed next year leaving our city the last in the country named for Braxton Bragg.
For our municipality, the title “Fort” lies equally heavy as it represents the theft of indigenous land by white settlers protected and abetted by U.S. soldiers.
The Ad Hoc Commission established by the City Council was charged with not only providing a recommendation on the best path forward for the name change but to also address the deeper systemic issue of racism in our community.
While anxiously awaiting a report from the Commission and, more importantly, action from our City Council, local residents have embarked on their own effort to change the name and ask your support. More information can be found here a the newly launched website: www.changeournamefortbragg.com