The bodies of a famous Civil War general and his wife are set to be exhumed from a Tennessee park less than three years after a statue memorializing the officer was torn down.
The decision to move the resting place of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife from Health Sciences Park in Memphis came after the Sons of Confederate Veterans dropped a lawsuit challenging the move Tuesday.
For the group, dropping the lawsuit has secured the statue of Forrest as well as other parts of deconstructed memorial structures.
Two and a half years after Nathan Bedford Forrest’s statue was removed from a Memphis park, the bodies of Forrest and his wife will be removed as well https://t.co/ahd45nN4l8
— WREG News Channel 3 (@3onyourside) May 13, 2020
The legal challenge to protect Forrest’s grave was originally mounted after a statue honoring the memory of the Confederate general was removed from the Memphis park.
The agreement ending the lawsuit is seen as a win by the nonprofit that owns the park that now serves as Forrest’s resting place.
While the agreement does not ban the Confederate memorials from Tennessee, as it appears park owner Memphis Greenspace once hoped for, the accord helps settle a controversy that has plagued the public area for years.
The city of Memphis was unable to remove the statues originally thanks to Tennessee’s Heritage Protection Act.
It didn’t take long for officials to come up with a workaround.
In an effort to get rid of the statues for good, the city sold two parks in late 2017 to Memphis Greenspace for $1,000 each, according to the Commercial Appeal.
Although the controversy surrounding the Confederate icons and memorials is several years old now, the attack on the grave of a famous general shows the erasure of history is nowhere near complete.
This just makes me sick! It has angered me immensely that the South’s monuments, flags, commandments in front of courthouses have been removed because it offends some people! How else do they plan on erasing history?
— S. Drummond (@ladydrummond) May 13, 2020
This is just shameful
— Kock (@thomaskockritz) May 14, 2020
Memphis isn’t alone in its shameless and backhanded attack on Southern heritage.
Birmingham, Alabama, similarly tried to keep a Civil War monument hidden from public view, a move that landed the city in trouble.
After placing plywood around an obelisk dedicated to Confederate veterans, the city ran afoul of Alabama’s own Memorial Preservation Act.
Instead of a history-free safe space, the move only landed Birmingham with a $25,000 fine.
As for Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife, their new resting place has yet to be decided.
I assume Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife will be reinterred in the family plot in Memphis’s Elmwood Cemetery. The writer Shelby Foote, who praised his military acumen in Ken Burns’s Civil War documentary, is buried next to the Forrest family plot. https://t.co/Wchcg8lBQu
— Kevin M. Levin (@KevinLevin) May 13, 2020
Hopefully, this disruption of the general’s remains will be the last.
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