Saturday, October 25, 2014

Memphis, Tennessee: Grave of Nathan Bedford Forrest

You can tell a bit about a society and a culture by what it chooses to remember. Such is the case for Memphis.

Nathan Bedford Forrest certainly is one of the most famous generals of the Confederate Army in Civil War history. But he comes with some baggage, and not just because he may have been involved in some war crimes.

Forrest was certainly an early member of the Ku Klux Klan. He may even have been a Grand Wizard of that organization, although there is some dispute over that matter. He died in Memphis in 1877, but in 1904 the remains of Forrest and his wife were moved to their present location.

So how about now? Forrest has more national markers and monuments dedicated to him that the Presidents from Tennessee. But "Forrest Park" is now Health Sciences Park, since it's near a huge hospital. The name still creates controversy, as some have tried to rename schools and building that were originally designed to honor Forrest.

In any event, the man is a significant figure in his time. He's located only a couple of blocks from Sun Studios, so feel free to take the stroll if you want to see what all the fuss is still about.

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