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(Army Times) – When this installation’s former namesake invaded Maryland, the U.S. Army shot him five times.
Despite receiving five bullets at Antietam in 1862 — and three additional wounds in other battles — as he rose from captain to major general in the Confederate army during the Civil War, former slaveowner John Brown Gordon survived to become the head of the Ku Klux Klan in Georgia.
As a member of the U.S. Senate, Gordon helped negotiate the end of Reconstruction in 1877, which rehabilitated the white Southern elite and allowed a new era of racial oppression to emerge. A two-term governor of Georgia, Gordon was also the first commander of the United Confederate Veterans.
But in a Friday morning ceremony just outside of Augusta, the Army eschewed Gordon’s legacy in favor of that of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the post’s new namesake. Eisenhower helped lead the destruction of Nazi Germany as a five-star general in World War II, and oversaw key racial integration milestones later as president. In 1957, Eisenhower deployed the 101st Airborne Division to Arkansas and federalized the state’s National Guard when the governor attempted to block…