The Memphis City Council approved a resolution Tuesday to exhume the remains of Nathan Forrest and move them to a local cemetery. A monument of the military commander will also be removed from the Health Sciences Park where it has been standing for more than a hundred years, provided that the council obtains the required votes, according to The Examiner.
The decision was made because Forrest was a Civil War general in the Confederate Army, a slave trader and also served as the first Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan.
However, in order to go ahead with the exhumation of Forrest's remains, the council would require an approval from a judge in Chancery Court as well as the living descendants of Nathan Forrest's family. The city would have to file an official lawsuit in Shelby County Chancery Court, citing the living family members of the commander in the lawsuit, according to Inquisitr.
The removal of Forrest's statue has also been proposed as an ordinance before the council, which will have to be read before the council thrice before it can obtain the approval. It will then be handed over to the Tennessee Historic Commission, however there is no specific timeline for when they will make a decision. The next scheduled commission meeting is in October, reported WREG.
"It is no longer politically correct to glorify someone who was a slave trader, someone who was a racist on public property," said City Council member Myron Lowery.
Lowery has led the campaign to remove Nathan Forrest's grave and statue from the public park once named after him. The recent tragedies have prompted the change; two years after the city changed the name of the park.
"It was clearly after what happened in South Carolina. It was clearly after what happened in the state capital of Tennessee," he said.
The council's decision has faced opposition from Lee Miller, spokesman for the Sons of the Confederate Veterans, who commented on the issue.
"I think it's disgusting that people use the shooting in Charleston and use those victims to forward their own agenda and join this anti Confederate hysteria that's going on. To attack something like that now I feel is just really misguided," he said.