Replica Civil War cannons removed from park, returned to Confederate group

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The replica Civil War cannons that used to stand in a Memphis park alongside a statue of Jefferson Davis were removed Wednesday and turned over to the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Van Turner with Memphis Greenspace, the nonprofit that now owns the park, said he had planned on putting the cannons in storage until SCV showed him an invoice showing that the group had purchased them. He said he felt comfortable turning them over the SCV.

This weekend, crews working with park owner Memphis Greenspace removed the statue’s base, seven months after the statue was pulled off and stored away. The move has prompted threats of legal action from the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which claims a court injunction protects all the monuments in the park.

“Anything historical is covered, and they just removed everything historical,” said Lee Millar with SCV.

But Turner with Memphis Greenspace disagreed, saying the court order only applied to the statues.

“I think we’re on safe ground,” said Turner, a county commissioner.

Memphis Greenspace, which was granted ownership of two former city properties where Confederate statues were removed last December, launched a fundraising campaign on Facebook Wednesday.

Turner said the group had raised about $50,000 for maintenance of the former Confederate Park and Nathan Bedford Forrest parks and needs about $250,000 to maintain them for about another three years.