Brooklyn’s Historic Fort Hamilton exercises federally-mandated edict to banish Confederate ties

General Robert E. Lee, 'We hardly knew ye...'

May 17, 2022 Theodore General
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1st Lieutenant John E. Warren, Jr.
Photo courtesy of Gloria-Baskin-Warren

The main street inside the Fort Hamilton Army Base, General Lee Avenue will no longer carry the name of the famous or some now refer to the notorious Civil War General who resigned from the United States Army to join arms with the Army of the Confederate States or America.

Back in the years from 1841 to 1846, then Captain Robert E. Lee was the Post Engineer at Fort Hamilton.  In 1852, he returned to West Point where he became the Superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy to 1855. In 1861 he resigned his commission from the Union Army and joined the Virginia state militia forces.  On April 17, 1861, Virginia seceded from the United States.

On Friday, May 20, at 10:30 a.m., the post’s main transportation artery will be formally renamed in honor of 1st Lieutenant John E. Warren, Jr., a Brooklyn native, VietNam Veteran and Medal of Honor Recipient. The ceremony will take place at the corner of White Avenue and Warren Avenue, in front of the New York Military Entrance Processing Station (aka MEPS).  This event is closed to the public, but will be streamed via the Post’s Facebook Page.

Fort Hamilton Post Engineer Robert E. Lee

The Nation’s highest award for valor, was presented to Warren posthumously for conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. While serving as a platoon leader in Vietnam, the 23-year-old officer used his body to shield his fellow soldiers from a thrown enemy grenade and he perished on January 14, 1969. Warren was also the recipient of the Silver Star, Bronze Star, and Purple Heart.

According to the Fort Hamilton Garrison Public Affairs Officer Amanda Hay Caroffino,  who interviewed Gloria Baskin-Warren, his only surviving family member, John Warren was born and raised in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. He attended Eastern District High School and then two years at Brooklyn College before he was drafted into the Army.

The action by Fort Hamilton brass apparently appears as a result of the legislation passed by Congress last year creating an 8 member National Commission mandating the removal of Confederate names from bases, buildings, streets and ships within three years.

Ted General writes a regular column entitled “Generally Speaking” for the Brooklyn Eagle and sister publication, Brooklyn Home Reporter.
Confederate General Robert E. Lee

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