MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two and a half years after Nathan Bedford Forrest’s statue was removed from a Memphis park, the bodies of Forrest and his wife will be removed as well.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans dropped its pending lawsuit, and now the graves of the Confederate soldier and his wife are one step closer to being permanently relocated.
Both Memphis Greenspace and the Sons of Confederate Veterans are happy with this latest agreement that was all completed out of court.
The terms are simple. The Sons of Confederate Veterans take possession of the two Civil War-related statues, along with all other items previously on public display, while Memphis and Shelby County get closure to an issue that has lingered for years.
“The details got worked out to everyone’s satisfaction, so there was no need to continue the lawsuit,” Lee Millar, spokesperson for the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said.
“They don’t have to worry about further protests, further potential vandalism of the monuments,” said Van Turner, president of Memphis Greenspace.
Greenspace previously considered getting the statues banned from Tennessee for good, but they won’t do so under the current agreement.
“As an American, as a defender of the Constitution, it is their right to do so, to freely express their views,” Turner said. “It’s my right as an American to not support that, to not visit it.”
The new location for the statues and the remains for General Forrest and his wife are still undecided for now, but the new display, wherever it may be, can’t be more controversial than the last.
“History buffs and people from all over the world will be able to visit the new Forrest Park and be able to learn and see the statue and see the graves,” Millar said.
“In all likelihood, they’ll never see me there, but that’s what they’ve decided to do, and it’s their right to do so,” Turner said.
Both Turner and Millar praised the other for being a helpful and respectful partner during the entire process.