29 thoughts on “Fort Bragg name change proposal fires up residents

  1. Thank you, Frank, for this. It’s opened my eyes to a few things I didn’t know. Still not sure what the right solution is though.

  2. I’ve been here in Fort Bragg for 43 years. My daughter was born here. And my children still live here. This is my home and the home of my family. I am attached to this place. Not the name of this place. I firmly support removing the association with a confederate general who advocated for slavery and by association subjugation of the native people and theft of their land. As the governor has said, “It is the right thing to do.” At this moment in time. Fort Bragg will always be part of our history. But it does not have to be part of our or our children’s future.

  3. Thanks for an excellent and informative article. I appreciated hearing the views of people who have lived and raised their families here.
    But…it’s not just that Braxton Bragg was a Confederate general, it’s that he was such a bad general. Contemporary accounts describe him as arrogant, cantankerous, incompetent, and hated by officers and enlisted men alike. His own soldiers twice tried to have him assassinated.
    At this point I would normally burst into song, but not wanting to aerosolize respiratory droplets at you all, I can only commend to your attention this neo-traditional folksong:


    Words: me
    Tune: Cotton-Eyed Joe

    Sometimes, folks, the truth is a drag
    Our town’s named for Braxton Bragg
    Braxton Bragg, Braxton Bragg
    Rebel General Braxton Bragg.

    He fought for the bonnie blue flag
    But he lost every battle, Braxton Bragg
    Braxton Bragg, Braxton Bragg
    Arrogant, quarrelsome Braxton Bragg.

    Battle of Perryville almost won
    Told his troops to turn and run
    Braxton Bragg, Braxton Bragg
    Lousy strategist Braxton Bragg.

    He and his wife had a hundred slaves
    Worked them into early graves
    Braxton Bragg, Braxton Bragg
    Black Lives Matter was not his bag.

    Don’t know about you, but it makes me gag
    Our town’s named for Braxton Bragg
    Braxton Bragg, Braxton Bragg
    Everyone hated Braxton Bragg.

  4. For me it will always be Fort Bragg just because that’s what it’s been all my life. I don’t equate that with a long deceased general. As for name changes the last significant one I found in California was in 1924 when the town of Sisson changed its name to Mt. Shasta

    • I could not determine if Mt. Shasta was incorporated as Sisson or not, one of my favorite spots. Ill have to do a bit more research. I read there was a vote on the name in 1922. As I referenced in the article, Wineville was an incorporated city that changed its name, but no such name changes in nearly a century

  5. This was a very well researched article. However it left out some other considerations of this issue. What about the mailing addresses of the newly named town? What about the post office? Are we all going to have to reregister to vote. We will all have to get new driver’s licenses. In my opinion this name change is too expensive and will cause all of us a lot of hassle.

  6. I think it is ridiculous to change the name, on so many levels! Do we have to jump on the bandwagon and be like sheep… just leave well enough alone, don’t open Pandora’s box!

    • Sheep don’t jump on bandwagons, sheep resist change without any thought. I think it is ridiculous to memorialize and honor a contemptible traitor like Braxton Bragg and the post that was established to slaughter and subjugate the native people. I love the town and live here but am ashamed of it’s name.

  7. Leave the name alone, but if it’s changed perhaps we should destroy every trace of Woodrow Wilson, FDR. LBJ and George Wallace – all well-known racists. Let’s be honest – this so-called cultural cleansing has more to do with erasing the democrats connection to slavery, the origins of the civil war and the KKK – all southern democrat inventions.

    • key words: southern democrat. even though you’re being obtuse, i’ll say it anyway: southern democrat = present day republican; quit being a disingenuous douche.

    • “Neil”:

      LOL, you really shouldn’t try to play with the adults like this, you embarrass yourself.

      Stephen Douglas, Democratic candidate for President, ran against Abraham Lincoln on a platform of literal White Supremacy (unlike the fake “White Supremacy” you people shriek about now). Douglas the Democrat was born in Vermont and lived in Illinois most of this life. NOT “Southern.”

      Just accept the fact the “Democratic” (sic) Party then is the same “Democratic” Party now. Open White Supremacy became untenable for political marketing, so the Democratic Plantation Mentality replaced it. After all, let’s remember Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson: “I’ll have those N—–s (sic) voting Democratic for the next 200 years!” (in response to the “Civil Rights” legislation he pushed).

  8. The civilian town of Fort Bragg has never played up being named after General Bragg. It was named after the U.S. (Union) Army fort that was once located here. Most people I know have no idea who General Bragg even was. Our proud history is of the hard working people who later settled and built this community. For their sake and memory, it’s name should stay as they built it.

  9. What about the history of the men and women that built this town? The town was named after the fort, not the man. How about the descendants of the people that built this town, do we throw that away as well? The name change will never change the history of this man but we wiulkl lose the history of all those that worked hard to build a community of perople that helped each other to survive. .

  10. Native Americans such as Kato/Cahto, Usal, Pomo, Coast Yuki and the list goes on of those “Indians” that were rounded up and incarcerated at Ft.Mendocino. What about the others who were sent off as slaves on board Russian and other Country ships or used as domestic servants and sex slaves, cast aside with their mixed raced children when they brought their foreign born wives here. Others were murdered by various means and soldiers under his command destroyed entire Indian communities. Those who were fortunate to survive by hiding in the mountains and brush were captured again and sent to Round Valley… His name, his command, his soldiers are handed down in name thru the generations. Ask the living relatives of those who survived but hear the stories their ancestors Of what they encountered under his leadership. Ask yourselves if it was your mother, father, grandparent or even considering how society hadn’t learned from past hatred if it was your daughter, son, grandchildren, spouse etc… who would endure these atrocities if the name doesn’t matter… how much is a name worth to address the inconvenience of changing a driver’s license, tourism Brochures, addresses, etc… what else is Ft. Bragg in California famous for besides the massacres? How about the people who give the community a welcome to visitors or the vast beautiful scenery, the botanical gardens, the wonderful fishing and hospitality of our coastal lodges…. the coastal communities have a lot to offer regardless of the name to help heal the wounds of the past.

  11. Are there not more important things to worry about? How about covid 19 !
    It is a sad state of affairs when people have nothing more to complain about.

  12. This is a well-researched and written article about a controversial subject close to home. However, we don’t have to look beyond our own county to find several examples of cities and towns that changed their names.

    The town of Mendocino has been called Buldam (by the native people), Big River, Meiggsville and ultimately Mendocino City. (I refuse to call it Mendocino Village, an affectation placed on it by tourism marketers.)

    Then there’s the town of Elk, originally named Greenwood, located on Greenwood Creek, and still called the town with two names. The town of Navarro moved from the mouth of the Navarro River to what was then known as Wendling, bringing its name along with it, and leaving it’s old location with the moniker of Navarro By The Sea.

    That’s only a partial list of examples from Mendocino County alone. But let’s not forget that San Francisco’s original name was Buena Vista, and there must be hundreds if not thousands of other examples in the state of California, which once was known as Alta California.

    My own favorite new name for FB would be Noyo. But in the interest of economy we could just drop the last letter and call it Fort Brag. Then we only need to retouch existing signs to cover that pesky g.

  13. I’ve been coming here for 30 years and living here for 20. As far as the name change goes, I find myself somewhat ambivalent – the name doesn’t inspire me exactly, but I am empathetic to all those who spent many formative years here, and understand fully the nostalgic view. Though I do think with a failing economy in our only remaining sector – tourism is our only tool in the hopper presently and it is now lying limp on the floor, courtesy COVID – that a name change might liven things up a bit, which would be beneficial. Long-run view, it would far offset the costs associated with the change. I will be curious to see how this goes. Great article, Frank – thanks –

  14. Just like in the Soviet Union and East Germany. St. Petersburg to Leningrad, and Chemnitz to Karl Marx Stadt. Thankfully, when both freedom and rationality returned, the original names were restored.

    Over here, in the New Amerika, the lunacy is building, metastasizing.

    “California” is named for a fantastic place in the book of someone who supported Spain and her imperial conquests. The novel from which the name comes was one of Hernando Cortez’s favorites, compelling him to search for “California.” “America” is named for Amerigo Vespucci, who participated in the exploration and conquest of the western hemisphere.

    See where this nut-fest goes?

    • As a historian, I can understand people’s desire to change the names of cities and military bases named after Confederate generals. They were traitors and do not deserve to be honored. However, we must recognize that changing the name of city involves a great deal of expense for everyone doing business there. Paperwork has to be changed, new letterhead and invoices have to be ordered, and vendors must be notified. We have to ask if now is the right time to force a new expense on businesses that have been devastated by the COVID-19 pandemic. In the case of Fort Bragg, there is another solution.

      The City Council could pass a resolution proclaiming that their city is no longer named after Confederate Gen. Braxton Bragg but is now named after a famous actor, Bernard Bragg. He was an actor, producer, director, playwright artist, author, and the first deaf professional performer in the United States. He also taught at the California School for the Deaf in Berkeley for 15 years. He died in Los Angeles in 2018 at the age of 90. What a wonderful example for people with disabilities that they do not have to be defined by their disabilities.

  15. BTW, do you love Coca Cola? If so, you better stop right now, because otherwise you’re a Confederacy-loving racist. Coca Cola was invented by Lt. Col. John Stith Pemberton, CSA (that’s Confederate States Army).

  16. Fort Bragg is our town’s name. I have never associated the name with anything other than the wonderful people of the town of Fort Bragg CA. This is the town that I grew up in. It is where my father built many of the homes. It’s where we built and owned two lodges. My friends were of all races and genders. Our home is named Fort Bragg which has a history of great men and women. Leave the name alone!

  17. How about “Coho, California?” Fun to market, fun to say! Also tells a story of our fellow species, that spawned on the creekbeds and died there, helping the redwoods to grow 🙂

  18. We live part time in the town down the road, Mendocino. But that’s only for the last eight years. So we hardly have Ft. Bragg as the name of your historic, wonderful town embedded in our heads, unlike most of the fine people of the area.
    So, neutral as I am, and appalled as I am at the idea of keeping a slave-owning never-resident as namesake, I suggest the city council consider another deeply-embedded but historically neutral (I think) name to post at the city limit: Noyo Harbor. Or, Noyo River. Either has a nice ring to it, and everybody likes a salmon festival and fishing boats. The name, says Prince Google, derives from a Pomo village that was near Pudding Creek north of town, so its history is legitimate and deep. And tagging on either Harbor or River anchors it distinctly to a still thriving place and time.

  19. I can’t believe this, how can people think it’s going to make it all better if the name is changed? My family, 4 generation are born natives of Fort Bragg.
    Of course no body
    likes to hear, about the terrible things that happened to another human being. But that was a part of history. I know we don’t like it. If you lived in those times, you could have been as ignorant as most of the people were for those times. Now we live in today, not yesterday. You learn from yesterday and we have, we should be thankful and proud. Even though some people want to drag the ugly out. Instead of being proud of how far we have come.
    You people that want to change history, amaze me. Take the money and energy that this will take and has already taken, and put into today world. STOP the child trafficking of our own children, the child pornography, or what about the kids that meet up with someone bad they met on the computer. Change what’s happening today. I don’t know, but it’s sad to me, that some people still live here, as it sounds like they can’t sleep at night because of the name of our town. You want to change something? Find away to get kids out of these gangs. These are issues of the present, but someday will be a part of history. Not pretty.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *