Restricted Memphis Mayor: Remove Lt. Gen. N. B. Forrest's body and monument from park

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James N.

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Of course this is nothing new - those in favor are just jumping on the current anti-anything-Confederate bandwagon. The most compelling reason to DO it though, and one I learned from previous threads here, is that apparently Forrest himself WANTED to be buried in Elmwood Cemetery along with those of his men and other friends and supporters. Personally, I'd like to see it done - as long as it's done right - to shut the protesters up and remove this obvious bone of contention. If Forrest was actually GONE I wonder what the NEW touchstone would be?
 

Anna Elizabeth Henry

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Removing all signs and symbols of the Civil War does not accomplish peace and unity between people. Erasing history from the consciousness of America will not erase the evils of slavery, the Civil War or prejudices faced by African Americans in the South during Jim Crow/segregation, it will only make the history surrounding the issues less visible for the American people.
 

Henry Whitworth

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Removing all signs and symbols of the Civil War does not accomplish peace and unity between people. Erasing history from the consciousness of America will not erase the evils of slavery, the Civil War or prejudices faced by African Americans in the South during Jim Crow/segregation, it will only make the history surrounding the issues less visible for the American people.

I don't think this line about keeping up the monuments because they're educational is going to win out now that more people are paying attention. I think taking down these monuments will make the history far less confusing for most Americans. The Lost Cause has always had obscuring the cause and meaning of the war as one of it's main objectives and these public commemorations are a significant part of the message.

These are to help us remember Jim Crow and segregation? But many of these monuments were put up very specifically by the champions and defenders of Jim Crow to remind blacks and "outside agitators" just who was in charge. Honoring Confederates in stone and bronze in our public places has long been part of the problem.
 
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Allie

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Good on AC. I've met him and I like him. Oddly enough my black next-door neighbor hates him because "he'll do anything white people want him to." Also according to her his wife wears her hair funny. But anyway. Despite being black, AC does not have the reputation of catering to his black constituency.

The General expressed a desire to be buried in Elmwood, and was originally buried there. Others relocated him later. Moving him back to be with his men, where he asked to be, will not hurt anything.

I love the statue and hope it is also placed in Elmwood. The current location between two medical campus buildings on a busy street is not a good one.

With a little effort this can be a situation that pleases all sides.

Incidentally, Millar is definitely in the "don't help" camp.
 

AndyHall

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From the article:

Lee Millar with the Sons of Confederate Veterans strongly opposes the move, “He was a City Councilman, an Alderman for two terms, and helped rebuild the city after the war.”

Millar also said there’s no direct evidence Forrest was a member of the KKK.

“So that’s just something that’s been passed down, rumored,” he said.

Real Confederate veterans who knew Forrest didn't have any qualms about admitting -- in fact, praising -- his role in the Klan during Reconstruction. I really do think the efforts to sanitize Forrest's reputation and history for a 21st century audience have wrecked his supporters' own credibility.
 

diane

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Forrest is always a focal point for these kinds of movements.He just makes a perfect target for various agendas. Slave trader, klansman, rebel general all in one. It seems to me the current call is to place him and the missus and the statue all in Elmwood. The whole shebang! I think that would be best, too. It's going to cost a good penny to move the statue - that is HUGE!

From the article:

Lee Millar with the Sons of Confederate Veterans strongly opposes the move, “He was a City Councilman, an Alderman for two terms, and helped rebuild the city after the war.”

Millar also said there’s no direct evidence Forrest was a member of the KKK.

“So that’s just something that’s been passed down, rumored,” he said.

Real Confederate veterans who knew Forrest didn't have any qualms about admitting -- in fact, praising -- his role in the Klan furing Reconstruction. I really do think the efforts to sanitize Forrest's reputation and history for a 21st century audience have wrecked his supporters' own credibility.

That's so true. It's no rumor. He may not have been a real member but he was a klansman nonetheless.
 

Nathanb1

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I will donate funds to aid in the removal. I feel pretty strongly that the vast majority of people in that park are not the type the General or Mary Ann would want to associate with. Back to plan one, so to speak. I'd much rather be in a cemetery than surrounded by a sort of yucky park (I have looked on Google Earth, and it's not something I'd desire to call my eternal home).

Get them out. Soon.
 

Allie

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I will donate funds to aid in the removal. I feel pretty strongly that the vast majority of people in that park are not the type the General or Mary Ann would want to associate with. Back to plan one, so to speak. I'd much rather be in a cemetery than surrounded by a sort of yucky park (I have looked on Google Earth, and it's not something I'd desire to call my eternal home).

Get them out. Soon.
I have witnessed a drunk homeless person poop in that park. It's not a great place to be.
 

Anna Elizabeth Henry

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I don't think this line about keeping up the monuments because they're educational is going to win out now that more people are paying attention. I think taking down these monuments will make the history far less confusing for most Americans. The Lost Cause has always had obscuring the cause and meaning of the war as one of it's main objectives and these public commemorations are a significant part of the message.

These are to help us remember Jim Crow and segregation? But many of these monuments were put up very specifically by the champions and defenders of Jim Crow to remind blacks and "outside agitators" just who was in charge. Honoring Confederates in stone and bronze in our public places has long been part of the problem.

You misunderstood my point about mentioning Jim Crow and segregation, taking down the statues/monuments will not fix the way people feel about how their ancestors were treated. Those horrible things still happened whether the statues are there or not. I was not suggesting people should revere those people as heroes since they championed slavery, but simply to remember our past and realize how far we've come.

When people originally erected the statues they were paying tribute to people they knew and loved who died. I don't believe their goal was to rub it in the face of anyone. It was a tribute to fallen war dead. You could interpret the meaning behind their motives the way you suggested, but I don't. We're both entitled our opinions on their motives, but both of us are speculating on how these people felt at the time and the purpose of the memorials.

I love American history, especially Civil War history. I hate to see the loss of such monuments and statues for their historic value. If we start taking away everything that is deemed inappropriate/offensive don't we rob everyone of American history?
 

Nathanb1

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I have witnessed a drunk homeless person poop in that park. It's not a great place to be.

Exactly. It's just not a pretty park, it's in a bad place, and it isn't where either of them should be. It seemed like a good idea at the time--it's not anymore.
 

diane

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I will donate funds to aid in the removal. I feel pretty strongly that the vast majority of people in that park are not the type the General or Mary Ann would want to associate with. Back to plan one, so to speak. I'd much rather be in a cemetery than surrounded by a sort of yucky park (I have looked on Google Earth, and it's not something I'd desire to call my eternal home).

Get them out. Soon.

I think they need family permission to move the graves, but from what I see here that may not be hard to get. Forrest wanted to be with his men in Elmwood, and he did a lot of work there himself. Sherman said there wouldn't be peace in Tennessee until Forrest was dead - then his own boy decided to move him! Poor Willie. Seemed like a good idea at the time.
 

DixieRifles

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From the article:

Lee Millar with the Sons of Confederate Veterans strongly opposes the move, “He was a City Councilman, an Alderman for two terms, and helped rebuild the city after the war.”

Millar also said there’s no direct evidence Forrest was a member of the KKK.

“So that’s just something that’s been passed down, rumored,” he said.

Real Confederate veterans who knew Forrest didn't have any qualms about admitting -- in fact, praising -- his role in the Klan during Reconstruction. I really do think the efforts to sanitize Forrest's reputation and history for a 21st century audience have wrecked his supporters' own credibility.

I know Lee and am a little surprised to hear his make that statement----if in fact he actually did. When Ed Williams, the Shelby County Historian, died, Lee Miller was trying to replace him. I don't know who did replace Mr. Williams.

Past news of death of Commissioner Ed Williams link:
http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/local-news/shelby-county-historian-former-commissioner-ed-wil
 
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