Memphis city council votes to dig up remains of Confederate Civil War general, wife

Memphis city council votes to dig up remains of Confederate Civil War general, wife

Statue, shmatue. The latest effort to expunge the odious memory of a man who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War doesn’t just end with his sculpted likeness. The city of Memphis wants the earthly remains of General Nathan Bedford Forrest exhumed and moved out of Dodge. His wife’s, too.

CBS affiliate WREG reports:

On Tuesday evening the Memphis City Council unanimously passed a resolution to remove … Forrest’s remains from under his statue in the Health Sciences Park on Union Avenue….

“It is no longer politically correct to glorify someone who was a slave trader, someone who was a racist on public property,” said City Council member Myron Lowery.

The removal of the general’s statue is its own ball of wax. An ordinance proposing that the offensive likeness be removed will have to be read before the council three times before approval can be granted. From there the Tennessee Historic Commission will have to render a decision on the disposition of the monument, though there is no timeline for when such a decision will be made. The next time the commission is scheduled to meet is in October.

Lowery freely concedes that the urgency to get rid of the statue was spurred on by the recent shooting deaths of nine churchgoers in South Carolina by a white supremacist.

Not everyone in Memphis is on board with moving the statue or Forrest’s remains. Lee Millar, a spokesman for the group Sons of the Confederate Veterans, told reporters:

I think it’s disgusting that people use the shooting in Charleston and use those victims to forward their own agenda and join this anti Confederate hysteria that’s going on.

To attack something like that now I feel is just really misguided.

Katherine Blalock, whose great grandfather served under Forrest, concurred: “We need to have a coming together of people, not a divide and conquer,” she explained.

Regardless of what decision is made, City Councilman Edmund Ford, Jr. said there is a more crucial issue that must be resolved. He asked:

Even when all the flags have been taken down and when all the artifacts have been moved, what do we do next as a people?

Good question.

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Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy

Howard Portnoy has written for The Blaze, HotAir, NewsBusters, Weasel Zippers, Conservative Firing Line, RedCounty, and New York’s Daily News. He has one published novel, Hot Rain, (G. P. Putnam’s Sons), and has been a guest on Radio Vice Online with Jim Vicevich, The Alana Burke Show, Smart Life with Dr. Gina, and The George Espenlaub Show.


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