Memphis Mayor: Remove Statue And BODY Of Confederate Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest From Park

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Sassy Liberty AMERICA’S FREEDOM FIGHTERS – 

A group of protesters decided that our history was not being destroyed fast enough and decided to take matters into their own hands.  It seems even the dead are not allowed to rest.

These individuals claimed that city government officials of the city of Memphis, Tennessee were just taking too long and not moving things along to their satisfaction.  They want the body of Confederate Lieutenant General Nathan Bedford Forrest exhumed. They also want the statue of the soldier on a horse on the burial site to be removed. The rebel cavalryman, who died in 1877, has been buried in the city’s Health Sciences Park since 1904.

Forrest is said to have been an early KKK member and reportedly its first Grand Wizard

In the wake of a racially motivated church shooting in Charleston, South Carolina that left 9 people dead at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the mayor of Memphis, AC Warton began to push for the removal of Gen Forrest’s body and statue. However, he has to go through several branches of government in order make that happen.

As a result, protesters took matters into their own hand and began to try to dig up Gen. Forrest’s body themselves.

The activist shoveled a patch of earth out of the grave, saying they were unhappy with a lack of progress by lawmakers to have the memorial  to Bedford Forrest removed

Racist bigots that do not know anything about history and are uninterested in learning chose to attempt to exhume Gen. Forrest saying they were unhappy with a lack of progress by lawmakers to Gen. Forrest’s body removed

A group of protesters who want the body of the decorated general removed from their city have broken the soil over the grave in their attempts to exhume Gen. Forrest’s body. They are now threatening to come back with heavy machinery and tear down the wartime statue at the grave site.

Memphis local station WREG reports the group is led by Isaac Richmond.

Richmond states –

“If he’s gone, some of this racism and race-hate might be gone. We got a fresh shovel full, and we hope that everybody else will follow suit and dig him up. We are going to bring the back hoe, the tractors and the men with the equipment to raise Bedford Forrest from the soil of Memphis.”

Forrest's statue, in the Health Sciences Park of Memphis, Tennessee. It could be taken away if efforts by city lawmakers are successful

Forrest’s statue, in the Health Sciences Park of Memphis, Tennessee. It could be taken away if efforts by city lawmakers are successful

The actions of these people naturally outraged Gen. Forrest’s descendants. They believe this was an act of vicious vandalism and that the so-called protesters had broken the law. Another man who believes very much in the preservation of history drove some 270 miles just to restore and replace what had been destroyed in the attempts to exhume Gen. Forrest’s body.

Gen Forrest is a native Tennessean from Chapel Hill, Tennessee in Marshall County. He has memorials in his name across Tennessee, including a bust in the state capitol, a high school and a building at Middle Tennessee State University. The park where he is buried was named Forrest Park until others forced it to be renamed in February 2013.

Forrest has been honored all across Tennessee, but in recent years places bearing his name have been renamed - including the park in which he is buried

Forrest has been honored all across Tennessee, but in recent years places bearing his name have been renamed – including the park in which he is buried

Mayor Warton has led the charge in calls to “stop honoring Forrest” claiming he belongs to a ‘despicable period’ of history.

He stated at a news conference last month –

“These relics, these messages of this despicable period of this great nation, it’s time for those to be moved. This is a monument to a man who was the avowed founder of the organization that has as its purpose the intimidation, the oppression of black folks”

It is highly tragic to note that Gen. Forrest is merely remembered as being the founder of the KKK which when he founded it was little more than a social club.  It grew to be little better than a political terrorist organization used to actively terrorize black people and sympathetic white people into compliance. Gen. Forrest denounced the organization when he discovered what it had become, disavowing it completely and disbanding it.  The group reformed without him and continued.

Isaac Richmond, center, said the protest group would return with heavy machinery unless the statue was removed by the government

Isaac Richmond, center, said the protest group would return with heavy machinery unless the statue was removed by the government

Gen. Forrest was very highly regarded by people of color in his time. When the War Between the States began Forrest offered freedom to his 44 slaves if they serve with him in the Confederate army. All 44 agreed. One later deserted and the other 43 served faithfully until the end of the war.

Throughout the long war, Gen. Forrest offered them the opportunity to leave on many occasions, yet they chose to remain loyal to Gen. Forrest and to the South. Gen. Forrest’s company was considered the elite of the Calvary ranging in size from 40-90 men in his unit with 8 of these men being black men.  ALL served gallantly and bravely through the course of the war. When the war ended and Gen. Forrest’s Calvary surrendered in May of 1865, there were 65 black troopers on his roll. Gen. Forrest stated of the black men under his command that finer Confederates had never fought.

It is worthy to note that when Gen. Forrest died in 1877 that his funeral in Memphis was attended by both white people and black people in a time when that simply was not done. His funeral procession was well over 2 miles long and attended by more than 10,000 residents, of those more than 3,000 were black citizens paying their respects. People do not show up in throngs such as this if one is not well thought of, well respected, and well received.  Never has a man been more unjustly maligned by history than this one.

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