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Remains of Nathan Bedford Forrest to be moved to Columbia, records show

Updated: Jan. 15, 2021 at 1:26 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Plans are moving along to relocate the bodies of Nathan Bedford Forrest and his wife from Health Sciences Park.

The removal also includes the pedestal under which the bodies are buried and everything around it -- a very difficult job.

“It will take quite some intricate planning and disassembly,” said Lee Millar, with the Sons of Confederate Veterans. “We’ll have an archeological architect with us to look at it.”

Millar says it’s not exactly clear what they’ll find beneath the pedestal because it was erected in 1904 and there are no drawings available.

“We don’t know how far down the caskets are underneath the statue,” said Millar. “We won’t know that until it is disassembled.

Millar says the Forrests’ remains will be relocated to Columbia, Tenn. -- about 45 miles outside Nashville -- to the new National Confederate Museum at Elm Springs.

The courts have already approved the removal, which is expected to happen this year. The process is being paid for by anonymous donors.

Forrest and his wife, Mary Ann Montgomery, were burred at Health Science Park where a monument dedicated to the early Ku Klux Klan leader stood before it was removed in 2017.

Van Turner, head of the nonprofit Greenspace, which now owns the park, says something else will go into the park once everything is removed.

“I will talk with community partners and we will level that space out,” said Turner. “Probably repave it, and we will see what the community wants there.

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