Remains Of Confederate General And His Wife Now Being Removed From Tennessee Public Park

by : Julia Banim on : 02 Jun 2021 14:54
Remains Of Confederate General And His Wife Now Being Removed From Tennessee Public ParkPA Images

Work is now underway to remove the remains of a Confederate General and his wife from a park in Memphis, Tennessee.

Workers have now begun exhuming the remains of General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife Mary Ann, after which they will transport them to the National Confederate Museum at Elm Springs in Columbia, Tennessee, some 200 miles away from the park that used to bear Forrest’s name.


The park, now named Health Sciences Park, also used to feature a statue of Forrest atop a horse in his memory. However, this was removed back in 2017 during a nationwide effort to remove Confederate monuments.

The grave of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest (PA Images)PA Images

In his lifetime, Forrest sold enslaved people in Memphis and is also known to have been one of the early leaders of the Ku Klux Klan. His critics regard him to have been a violent racist.

A powerful cavalry general, in April 1864, Forrest’s troops attacked Fort Pillow in north-west Tennessee, killing between 200 and 300 Union soldiers, the majority of whom were Black. As reported by The Guardian, northern newspaper reports at the time described the killing as ‘an atrocity’.


An affidavit from Bedford Forrest Myers, Forrest’s great-great-grandson, detailed the plans to remove the remains.

Myers has also expressed his support for this move, writing:

Relocating the graves is proper because the Property has lost its character as a burial ground.

Nathan Bedford Forrest statue (PA Images)PA Images

There have been many protests at Forrest’s burial site over the years, with activists having long called for the remains to be removed. The words ‘Black Lives Matter’ can be seen painted on a walkway surrounding the grave.

As reported by CNN, the decision to move the bodies was decided last year after the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a nonprofit organisation made up of male descendants of Confederate veterans, agreed it would drop a pending lawsuit against the owners of the park.

Lee Millar, a Sons of Confederate Veterans spokesperson and fifth cousin of Forrest, told CNN that the disinterment began on the morning of Tuesday June 1, with the work paid for by the Sons of the Confederate Veterans.

Forrest and his wife have been interred at the park for more than a century, and it’s understood that this will be a complex procedure. It’s expected that the process will take around three weeks to complete.


Featured Image Credit: PA Images

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact Stop Hate UK by visiting their website www.stophateuk.org/talk

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

Topics: News, ku klux klan, memphis, Now, tennessee, US


CNN and 1 other
  1. CNN

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

  2. The Guardian

    Memphis exhumes body of Klan leader Nathan Bedford Forrest from city park