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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

Lawyers request removal of Nathan Bedford Forrest's remains from Memphis park

The remains of Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife would be moved to a Confederate museum in Columbia, Tennessee, if the plan is approved by a judge.
Credit: AP
FILE - This Aug. 18, 2017 file photo shows a statue of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest in a park in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz, File)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Lawyers in Tennessee are seeking a judge's approval for the disinterment of Confederate general and slave trader Nathan Bedford Forrest's remains from his burial plot in a Memphis park.

The Commercial Appeal reported Friday that court filings show the remains of Forrest and his wife would be moved to a Confederate museum in Columbia, Tennessee — if the plan is approved by a judge at a future court hearing.

The remains of Forrest and his wife were removed from a Memphis cemetery and buried under a statue of the former Memphis city council member and early Ku Klux Klan leader in 1904. The city removed the statue in December 2017 in a deal to sell the public park to a nonprofit and circumvent a state law barring the removal of historic monuments from public areas.

The statue is now in the hands of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which also is seeking to take custody of the remains with the approval of the Forrest family.

The remains would be reburied at the National Confederate Museum at Elm Springs in Columbia, according to an affidavit from Bedford Forrest Myers, a great-great-grandson.

The park where Forrest was buried has been the site of protests associated with the Black Lives Matter movement. Activists have long called for the removal of both the statue and the remains.

"Relocating the graves is proper because the Property has lost its character as a burial ground,” Myers wrote.