The Navy will rename a warship that was originally named in honor of a Confederate battlefield victory in the Civil War, the service announced Monday.
Changing the name of the guided-missile cruiser Chancellorsville to Robert Smalls, a former slave and sailor, is the latest move by the Defense Department to change the names of installations, buildings and assets that were once Confederate namesakes.
The Navy announcement provides no timeline for the change, but stated that “the logistical aspects associated with renaming the ship will begin henceforth and will continue until completion with minimal impact on operations and the crew.”
Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro said in a statement Monday that renaming the cruiser was not about “rewriting history.”
Instead, he said, renaming the ship aims “to remove the focus on the parts of our history that don’t align with the tenets of this country, and instead allows us to highlight the events and people in history who may have been overlooked.”