City council votes to remove Forrest's body, statue from public park

Effort still must be approved by Chancery Court, Forrest's descendants and Tennessee Historical Commission.

by Associated Press | 7/8/2015, 12:47 p.m.
Effort still must be approved by Chancery Court, Forrest's descendants and Tennessee Historical Commission.
Nathan Bedford Forrest's statue faces Union Avenue in Health Sciences Park. (Photo: Colin Woodward)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis City Council has begun the process that could result in the removal of the body and a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest — rebel general, slave trader and early Ku Klux Klan member — from a park.

Multiple media outlets report that the City Council unanimously approved a resolution on Tuesday calling for the graves of Forrest and his wife to be removed from Health Sciences Park. An ordinance to remove the park's statue of Forrest received the first of three readings.

The resolution about the graves requires approval from Chancery Court and Forrest's descendants, while the ordinance regarding the statue also needs approval from the Tennessee Historical Commission.

Council chairman Myron Lowery and Mayor A C Wharton have backed both agenda items. The Sons of Confederate Veterans opposes the removals.