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US Nathan Bedford Forrest's Remains Being Moved Out of Memphis Park, Into Confederate Museum

19:40  01 june  2021
19:40  01 june  2021 Source:   newsweek.com

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After a long legal battle and repeated calls for the removal of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest's remains from a Memphis park, workers arrived on Tuesday to begin the process of moving the former slave trader's body to a Confederate museum.

a group of people standing in a park: PULASKI, TN - JULY 11: Members of the Fraternal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan participate in the 11th Annual Nathan Bedford Forrest Birthday march July 11, 2009 in Pulaski, Tennessee. Nathan Bedford Forrest was a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War and played a role in the postwar establishment of the first Ku Klux Klan organization opposing the reconstruction era in the South. Plans for the removal of his statue and remains from a Memphis park are currently underway. © Spencer Platt/Getty Images PULASKI, TN - JULY 11: Members of the Fraternal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan participate in the 11th Annual Nathan Bedford Forrest Birthday march July 11, 2009 in Pulaski, Tennessee. Nathan Bedford Forrest was a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army during the American Civil War and played a role in the postwar establishment of the first Ku Klux Klan organization opposing the reconstruction era in the South. Plans for the removal of his statue and remains from a Memphis park are currently underway.

The removal of the statue and remains were approved by Forrest's relatives, and the move is being overseen by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The remains will be reburied and the statue placed at the National Confederate Museum at Elm Springs in Columbia.

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An affidavit from one of Forrest's great-great-grandsons, Bedford Forrest Myers, detailed the plans of the move. Myers also wrote his support of moving the grave from the park.

"Relocating the graves is proper because the Property has lost its character as a burial ground," Myers wrote in a legal filing.

The museum is owned by the Sons of Confederate Veterans and opened to the public in October. It is located approximately 200 miles from Memphis.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Crews prepared to remove the graves of Forrest and his wife from Health Sciences Park in Memphis' busy medical district. The park used to bear the name of the early Ku Klux Klan leader, and feature a statue of the cavalryman on a horse, but the name has been changed and the statue removed in recent years.

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Workers must dismantle the statue's pedestal before they can disinter the Forrests' remains and move them to a Confederate museum in Middle Tennessee. A heavy crane was positioned near the pedestal as workers prepared the site Tuesday morning. The entire process is expected to take weeks.

It is another example of how cities and activists have taken steps in recent years to get rid of statues and monuments of historical figures who supported the South's secession and led the fight against the North, from General Robert E. Lee to Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy.

Forrest sold slaves in Memphis and served in the Confederate army as a cavalry general. In April 1864, Forrest's troops attacked Fort Pillow in northwest Tennessee and killed 200 to 300 Union soldiers, most of them Black.

Forrest was later accused of massacring the Union soldiers. Questions linger as to whether they were killed as they tried to surrender. Northern newspaper reports referred to the battle as an atrocity.

The remains of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife are being removed from a Memphis park

  The remains of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife are being removed from a Memphis park Crews have started to remove the remains of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife from a Memphis park where a monument of him once stood. © Joe Rondone/The Commercial Appeal/USA Today Network On Tuesday, work began on exhuming the remains of General Nathan Bedford Forrest from Health Sciences Park. The decision to move their remains was decided last year 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.

Historians say he later became an early leader of the Ku Klux Klan, though some of Forrest's supporters dispute that. Forrest's critics call him a violent racist.

The remains of Forrest and his wife were moved from a Memphis cemetery and buried under the statue of the former Memphis city council member in 1904. The city took down the statue in December 2017 after selling the public park to a nonprofit group, thus circumventing a state law barring the removal of historic monuments from public areas.

A judge in Nashville ruled that the city and Memphis Greenspace, the non-profit that made the park privately operated, removed the statue legally.

The park where Forrest was buried has been the site of protests associated with the Black Lives Matter movement. Activists have long called for the removal of both the statue and the remains. The words "Black Lives Matter" have been painted in yellow by activists on a walkway surrounding the tomb.

The tree-lined park is next to the University of Tennessee's medical school and a community college on Union Avenue, a busy street leading in and out of downtown Memphis.

Workers begin removing Forrest remains from Tennessee park

  Workers begin removing Forrest remains from Tennessee park MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — Workers arrived at a Tennessee park Tuesday to begin the process of digging up the remains of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and moving the former slave trader’s body from its longtime resting place in Memphis to a museum hundreds of miles away. Crews prepared to remove the graves of Forrest and his wife from Health Sciences Park in Memphis’ busy medical district. The park used to bear the name of the early Ku Klux Klan leader and feature a statue of the cavalryman on a horse, but the name has been changed and the statue removed in recent years. © Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Feb.

a statue of a person riding a horse: FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2013, file photo, a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest rests on a concrete pedestal at a park named after the confederate cavalryman in Memphis Tenn. Workers arrived at a Tennessee park Tuesday, June 1, 2021, to begin the process of digging up the remains of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, and moving the former slave trader’s body from its longtime resting place in Memphis to a museum hundreds of miles away. Adrian Sainz, File/AP Photo © Adrian Sainz, File/AP Photo FILE - In this Feb. 6, 2013, file photo, a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest rests on a concrete pedestal at a park named after the confederate cavalryman in Memphis Tenn. Workers arrived at a Tennessee park Tuesday, June 1, 2021, to begin the process of digging up the remains of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest, and moving the former slave trader’s body from its longtime resting place in Memphis to a museum hundreds of miles away. Adrian Sainz, File/AP Photo

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Virginia city council votes to remove Confederate statues .
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Officials in a Virginia city have voted unanimously to remove two statues of Confederate generals from downtown parks, including one that was the focus of a violent white nationalist rally in 2017. The vote came late Monday after more than 50 people spoke during a virtual meeting, most in favor of removal, news outlets reported. The statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson won't be removedThe vote came late Monday after more than 50 people spoke during a virtual meeting, most in favor of removal, news outlets reported.

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