What About Post-1865 Heroes?

There seems to be an idea supported by President Trump that we should not change the names of U.S. military bases.  I question the belief that the names of these bases are etched in stone never to change and that the United States does not have many post-1865 heroes.

Names of public places are changed all of the time. In some cases, it is because the building is used for other purposes, the mission of the organization has changed, or people forget why the building was named that way. I am not talking about monuments which as I have said in the past are an issue that each community should resolve. We have plenty of heroes in the past 150 plus years. When are we going to honor them?


General John Bell Hood

Let’s consider Fort Hood in Texas. General John Bell Hood had mixed reviews during his time in command of Confederate troops. He was praised for his actions in the Penninsula Campaign but criticized for his actions in the battles around Atlanta and Nashville. This may have to do with the wear and tear on his body and loss of limbs.  Incidentally, he was doing exactly what his commander-in-chief Jeff Davis wanted in the Atlanta Campaign. Davis replaced Joe Johnston with Hood and ordered John Bell to fight.



Here are some Texans who might be worthy of replacing Hood.

U.S. Army

  • George Lawson Keene – Most decorated American soldier in WW I
  • Audie Murphy – Most decorated U.S. soldier in WW II
  • Staff Sergeant Marcario Garcia – Medal of Honor, WW II
    Garcia became the first Mexican immigrant to win the nation’s highest award for valor.
  • Benavidez

    Master Sergeant Roy Benevidez

    Roy Benavidez – Medal of Honor, Vietnam – He made Rambo seem like a wimp – amazing story – Please read Roy Benavidez’s story






  • Oveta Culp Hobby – Colonel Women’s Army Corps, first secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare
  • Major_General_Dwight_Eisenhower,_1942_TR207

    Major General Dwight D. Eisenhower

    Dwight D. Eisenhower – Army general and statesman who served as the 34th president of the United States from 1953 to 1961. During World War II, he became a five-star general in the Army and served as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in Europe. He was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942–43 and the successful invasion of Normandy in 1944–45 from the Western Front.

U.S. Navy

  • Chester Nimitz – commander of Allied naval forces in Pacific during World War II
  • Doris “Dorie” Miller – Navy Cross for valor at Pearl Harbor 
  • David “Tex” Hill – Naval aviator, Flying Tiger ace, immortal fighter pilot

About eleven Medal of Honor honorees.

My personal choices are Eisenhower and Benavidez. 


About Allen Mesch

Allen is an author, educator, and historian. He has written six books: The Analyst; Teacher of Civil War Generals; Your Affectionate Father, Charles F. Smith; Charles A. Marvin - "One Year. Six Months, and Eleven Days", Preparing for Disunion, and Ebenezer Allen - Statesman, Entrepreneur, and Spy. He taught classes on the American Civil War at Collin College. He has visited more than 130 Civil War sites and given presentations at Civil War Roundtables.
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