Posted on May 14, 2020

Remains of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and His Wife Will Be Removed from a Memphis Park

Melissa Alonso and Amanda Jackson, CNN, May 13, 2020

The remains of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife will be removed from a Memphis park where a monument of him once stood.

The decision to move their remains came after the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a non-profit organization of male descendants of Confederate veterans, agreed to drop a pending lawsuit against park owners, according to CNN affiliate WREG.

Forrest, who was a slave trader and early Ku Klux Klan leader, and his wife, Mary Ann, had their graves at Health Sciences Park, where a monument to Forrest used to be.

City leaders voted in 2013 to change the name of three parks that honored Confederate figures in Memphis. Then, in 2015, they voted to move the Forrest statue. To proceed with the removal, they sought a waiver from the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act, a law that governs the removal, relocation or renaming of memorials on public property. But the Tennessee Historical Commission denied the city’s request.

The denial led the city council to pass legislation allowing it to sell parkland to Memphis Greenspace, a non-profit that provides park-based recreation to the city.


Sons of Confederate Veterans had fought the city’s efforts to remove the statues. The removal promoted the group to file a lawsuit against the City of Memphis and Memphis Greenspace, according to CNN affiliate WMC. {snip}


Now after years of controversy, both parties have agreed to remove the remains, which will become property of The Sons of Confederate Veterans.