RICHMOND, Va. — Gov. Ralph Northam is calling for the removal of an arch honoring the former president of the Confederacy at Fort Monroe, where the first enslaved Africans arrived in Virginia 400 years ago.
The Daily Press reports that Northam’s office presented a letter to the Fort Monroe Authority Board of Trustees Thursday supporting removal of the Jefferson Davis Memorial Arch, a wrought-iron structure built in 1956 by the Army with $10,000 from the United Daughters of the Confederacy.
As local governments and college campuses take down more and more monuments to Confederate heroes, eyes are turning to the military — particularly the Army, which has 10 installations named after Confederate officers.
The board voted unanimously for removal, likely to be a lengthy process because Fort Monroe is designated a national historic landmark. It sits on a peninsula named Old Point Comfort, where the first enslaved Africans arrived in 1619. Slaves sought their freedom at the Union outpost there during the Civil War.
Some of the Army’s biggest and most iconic posts are named after Confederate officers: Fort Hood, Fort Bragg, Fort Benning, and seven others.