Alexandria Mayor Justin Wilson says that he wants to reignite the conversation over renaming streets named after Confederate heroes of the Civil War.
There are dozens of Alexandria streets named after Confederate soldiers, and Wilson says that it will take a multi-year process to rename the streets.
“Yes, multi-year, to ensure it doesn’t become disruptive to navigation, our residents and businesses,” Wilson said. “I’ll have a specific proposal out soon. Basically a schedule and a process for how we can approach this.”
Forrest Street, for instance, is named after Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan. Lee Street is named after the family of Confederate commanding Gen. Robert E. Lee.
The proposal will include a public engagement process and renaming suggestions.
Local group Reconstruction Alexandria has struggled to raise community support with petitions for more than a year, in order to get the issue to City Council for review. Efforts to gather signatures for petitions for Lee Street, Janneys Lane and Floyd Street petered out.
“It’s been frustrating,” said volunteer Alex Sprague. “We thought we had the signatures needed for Janneys and Floyd, but turns out some signatures weren’t the actual property owners.”
After getting the go-ahead from then-Governor Ralph Northam in 2020, Alexandria removed the Appomattox statue from the middle of S. Washington Street in Old Town. The statue of a Confederate soldier facing south with crossed arms and his head bowed stood for 131 years before being hauled away by the Daughters of the Confederacy.
Like removing statues, changing street names takes time.
It took four years to rename Jefferson Davis Highway (the president of the Confederacy) to Richmond Highway, starting with the 2015 formation of the city’s Ad Hoc Advisory Group on Confederate Memorials and Street Names.
The Confederate street names date back to 1951, when city officials determined that all streets facing north to south would be named after Confederate members of the military, according to the Washington Post.
Alexandria streets named after Confederate soldiers:
- Ashby Street — Named after Turner Ashby, Jr., cavalry commander for “Stonewall” Jackson
- Beauregard Street — Named after Confederate Gen. Pierre G.T. Beauregard, creator of the Confederate States of America (CSA) battle flag
- Bragg Street — Named after CSA Gen. Braxton Bragg
- Breckinridge Place — Named after former U.S. Vice President John Cabell Breckinridge, who later serves as a brigadier general in the CSA
- Calhoun Avenue — Named after CSA Maj. J. Lawrence Calhoun
- Chambliss Street — Named after CSA Gen. John Chambliss
- Dearing Street — Named after James Dearing, the last CSA general to die in battle
- Donelson Street — Named after CSA Brig. Gen. Daniel Smith Donelson
- Early Street — Named after CSA Gen. Jubal Early
- Floyd Street — Named after CSA Brig. Gen. John Buchanan Floyd
- Forrest Street — Named after CSA Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan
- French Street — Named after CSA Brig. Gen. Samuel Gibbs French
- Frost Street — Named after CSA Brig. Gen. Daniel M. Frost
- Gordon Street –– Named after CSA Gen. John Brown Gordon
- Hardee Place — Named after CSA Gen. William Joseph Hardee
- Hume Avenue — Named after Frank Hume, a former CSA spy who settled in Alexandria
- Imboden Street — Named after CSA Gen. John D. Imboden
- Iverson Street — Named after CSA Gen. Alfred Iverson
- Jackson Place — Named after CSA defender James W. Jackson, who killed Union Col. Elmer E. Ellsworth at the Marshall House on May 24, 1861
- Janneys Lane — Named after CSA Maj. Eli Hamilton Janney
- Jordan Street — Named after CSA Brig. Gen. Thomas Jordon
- Kemper Street — Named after CSA soldier James Lawson Kemper
- Lee Street — Named for the Lee family, after the death of Mrs. Robert E. Lee in 1874
- Longstreet Lane — Named for CSA Lt. Gen. James Longstreet
- Maury Lane — Named after CSA Naval Chief Matthew Fontaine Maury, who also had an elementary school named after him in Alexandria
- Pegram Street — Named after CSA Brig Gen. John Pegram
- Reynolds Street — Named after Alexander Welch Reynolds or Daniel H. Reynolds, both CSA brigadier generals
- Quantrell Avenue — Named after CASA Brig. Gen. William Clark Quantrill
- Rosser Street — Named after CSA Maj. Gen. Thomas L. Rosser
- Van Dorn Street — Named after CSA Brig. Gen. Earl Van Dorn
- Wheeler Avenue — Named after CSA Gen. Joseph Wheeler
There are also a number of streets that are possibly named after Confederate soldiers. Those are listed below the jump:
- Armistead Street — Possibly named after CSA Gen. Louis Addison Armistead
- Cockrell Street — Possibly named after CSA Brig. Gen. Francis Cockrell or his family
- Davis Avenue — Possibly named after Jefferson Davis, former CSA president
- Frazier Street — Possibly named after CSA Col. James Frazier
- Gorgas Place — Possibly named after CSA Gen. Josiah Gorgas
- Hampton Drive — Possibly named after CSA calvary officer Wade Hampton
- Herbert Street — Possibly named after CSA Col. Arthur Herbert, commander of the 17th Virginia Regiment
- Jordan Court — Possibly named after CSA Brig. Gen. Thomas Jordan
- Kirkland Place — Possibly named after CSA Sgt. Richard Rowland Kirkland, the “angel” of the battle of Fredericksburg, who cared for wounded Union soldiers
- Lee Court — Possibly named after CSA commanding Gen. Robert E. Lee
- Mosby Street — Possibly named after CSA calvary commander John Singleton Mosby
- Palmer Place — Possibly named after CSA Gen. Joseph Palmer
- Paxton Street — Possibly named after CSA Gen. Elisha Franklin Paxton
- Pelham Street — Possibly named after CSA Lt. Col. John Pelham
- Pickett Street — Possibly named after CSA Brig. Gen. George E. Pickett
- Pierpont Street — Possibly named after CSA hero James Lord Pierpoint
- Pryor Street — Possibly named after CSA Gen. Roger Atkinson Pryor
- Roberts Street — Possibly named after CSA Brig. Gen. William Paul Roberts
- Rhoades Place — Possibly named after CSA Gen. Robert G. Rhoades
- Ripley Street — Possibly named after CSA Gen. Roswell Ripley
- Scott Street — Possibly named after CSA Gen. Thomas Scott
- Shelley Street — Possibly named after CSA Gen. Charles Miller Shelley
- Sterling Avenue — Possibly named after CSA Gen. Sterling Price
- Stevens Street — Possibly named after CSA Brig. Gen. Clement Hoffman Stevens
- Stevenson Avenue — Possibly named after Walter Husted Stevenson of the CSA
- Stewart Street — Possibly named after CSA Gen. Alexander P. Stewart
- Stonewall Road — Possibly named after CSA Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson
- Stevenson Avenue — Possibly named after Walter Husted Stevenson of the CSA
- Thomas Street — Possibly named after CSA Gen. Allen Thomas
- Tyler Place — Possibly named after CSA Gen. Robert Tyler or CSA field officer Grayson Tyler
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