Today South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed the order for removal of the Confederate flag from the State House grounds. Her order was preceded by an emotional speech made by SC State Representative Jenny Horne who broke into tears demanding for its removal. “I have heard enough about heritage,” she sobbed.
Not to be outdone, Memphis, TN mayor A.C. Wharton wants the graves of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife dug up and removed from a a city park, along with a massive statue of the Confederate Civil War hero.
“Which African-American wants to have a picnic in the shadow of Nathan Bedford Forrest?” he asked in a Thursday press conference.
The Memphis City Council also agreed with the mayor. On Tuesday they voted unanimously to remove the graves and the statue from Health Sciences Park. Several groups are interested in obtaining the statue, while the status of the bodies lies with descendants of the Forrest family.
To be sure, Forrest was not someone of pristine character as was Robert E. Lee. Though he was an untrained military genius, he was responsible for the slaughter of 200 Union troops — many of them former slaves — after the capture of a garrison at the Battle of Fort Pillow in Tennessee. After the war it is believed Forrest served as the first Grand Dragon of the newly-formed Ku Klux Klan in 1866.