Remains of US Ku Klux Klan leader to be moved
WASHINGTON, June 2, 2021 (BSS/AFP) – A project to disinter a Ku Klux Klan leader and move his remains to a museum started Tuesday, local US media reported, adding the work would be funded by $200,000 of anonymous donations.
Nathan Bedford Forrest was a leading pro-slavery Confederate army general during the American Civil War, and the first “Grand Wizard” of the racist Ku Klux Klan organization from 1867 to 1869.
A pedestal on top of his grave in a park in Memphis, Tennessee, will be removed first, before his remains — along with those of his wife — are taken to the new National Confederate Museum, WMC5 news said.
A statue of Forrest was removed from the park in 2017.
Debate over removing Confederate memorials has been simmering in the United States for years as the country examines its complicated racial past.
The issue is particularly sensitive in Memphis, where civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr was assassinated on April 4, 1968.
Forrest, who died in 1877, was a controversial figure in Southern history.
A slave trader and owner of cotton plantations, his troops were accused of executing hundreds of surrendering African-American Union Army soldiers at the Battle of Fort Pillow in 1864.